The Prisoner’s Pardon…

Ben Schoettel   -  


Pastor Rich said this about Jesus’ suffering on our behalf… “Not only did God identify with human suffering, He identified with human death. We believe we have a suffering Savior who died for our redemption. For the whole world. It’s why we face death differently. We have a confident hope that Jesus has gone before us into death.”

We heard about the costs of following Jesus and carrying our crosses. When we come together to partake in sacraments like Communion, it is yet another reminder of what it means to identify with the entirety of Jesus’ Body, the Church, and embrace the reality of the cup that was taken on our behalf by our Savior.

The sacrificial nature of Jesus, the love that led Him to carry the cross, and the “hope” that binds us together with our perfect Father, are revelations of His GRACE.

The entirety of Jesus life and ministry could never fit neatly into statements like the Apostle’s Creed, but the narrative of His life is filled with moment after moment of God’s grace being revealed to us.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the magnitude of the grace that Jesus revealed even as He was on the cross.

As He was being tortured and mocked, as He had to say goodbye to those He loved as they witnessed His suffering, Jesus still offered His grace.

As the prisoner on the one side of Him joined in on the insults, telling Jesus that if He is really the Messiah to “save yourself and us!” the other prisoner recognized the Truth in that moment.

“Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong… Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:39-42)

As Jesus suffered along with them, He still chose love as He met this prisoner’s realization with His amazing grace.

“Jesus answered him, ‘truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (v. 43)

This warrants a few moments of reflection for us.

  • Do we ever take the posture of the insulting prisoner?
  • Do we question why God is not intervening the way we would like?
  • Do we live knowing that the grace that redeemed the prisoner also exists for us?
  • Do we give that same grace to others, without question of worthiness?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. And praise Jesus for the vastness of His grace.