Which Prisoner Am I?
So today I’m in very familiar chapters - the crucifixion. However when I landed on Luke 23:39-43 there is a powerful contrast of two men on either side of Jesus also being crucified. So I thought, what was the deep difference of each?
What came is simply this: One guy thought he deserved something from Jesus; thinking he deserved rescue; he deserved heaven! The other one saw his condition; he saw Jesus for who he was: without sin. He recognized he deserved nothing and needed mercy. It was that man who ended up with Jesus in paradise. I thought to myself that, at any juncture in my day, I can be one of those two prisoners. I can think deep inside think that I’m owed something; that somehow God is obligated to serve me. I would never say it out loud but my flesh screams it. Yet, on the flip side, the still small voice in my spirit says, humble yourself - only by God's grace go you, Cari. It makes me wonder which prisoner was louder that day. I bet only those close by heard the humble voice of the other. But I bet the masses heard the violent rebukes and heartily agreed.
So, minute by minute, which side of that cross am I on? I deserved NOTHING, yet final recognition of appeal brought me to wholeness; the recognition of my condition being so dark against the holiness of God, knowing I could not do a thing, and embracing a merciful God in the stillness. I suspect in the midst of all the clambering and noise and yelling that day, there was a moment between the humble prisoner and Jesus where they only heard the voice of each other and the rest dimmed. The quiet space created when we fall at the feet of the Savior.
Only by His deep grace am I on the right side of the cross. He saw me that day. He saw me fallen and He saw me transformed as the landscape of my life hung on Him. That day was not crowded - it stands personal to each of us who embraces Him. I was there begging for mercy! But, practically speaking, the attitude of the other is at war with Christ's transforming work in my life. I’m compelled to be conscious of this minute by minute!