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Luke 23:8,8; 39-43
I guess much has been said and preached about the Crucifixion last Friday day. Today is Resurrection Sunday. Nevertheless I want to share one part of my message in our Good Friday Service that left my heart and our congregation challenged; the irony of the characters between Heron Antipas and the thief that was crucified beside Christ. Here it is:
We will find two great opposites between Herod and the thief on the cross:
Herod knew things about Jesus as many have told him about Christ’s teachings and miracles. Jesus may have posed to him as a threat for his position. Among those people who may have informed him is John the Baptist whom he beheaded. The callousness of his heart continued his disbelief, even if until he had seen Jesus face to face. Herod’s response was pure mockery, insult and disbelief.
The thief also knew things about Jesus, but he was different. Through out his life he maybe was a thief but he may have learned the works about Jesus that he rebuked the other thief for his mockery. He admitted that he deserved the crucifixion and that Jesus didn’t. He had a good characterisation about Christ. Maybe he was present when Jesus healed a sick person, or freed a soul possessed by demons or maybe he was there when Jesus fed the 5000. I believe he may have learned Christ beforehand that he called Jesus a good man and underserving of the cross. And with all of that information, he believed in Jesus and asked the Saviour to remember him when He enters the Paradise.
And so Jesus replied to him wonderfully, “truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise”.
Herod Antipas may represent various people of all walks of life. They may have learned about the Christ, but still refuse to believe.
While the meek and lowly in heart represents the heart of the thief when he met the Saviour. He asked Jesus to bring him to every dying man’s wanted place after death.
May we choose to believe.
I took this photo at the Orchid Dome. First I thought this was a dried flower, but when I looked at it closely, I found it real and fresh. Forgot its name. But reminds me of Christians; at many times we stood different among the crowd, our faith running against secularism and negative tolerance. Still, we decide to stand tall and firm of what we believe, for His honour and glory. Like this flower, odd against its surroundings, but beautiful and good in the eyes of the Creator.
(photo – JRMSG kids)
A dysfunctional family will deeply hurt not only the parents, but the children as well.
I just counselled a precious young lady lately to be strong as she and her brother continue to bear living with their mother only. The feelings of longing for a father are undeniable and natural for them both. It has been widely observed by may counsellors that young women who lived without a strong presence of a father would many times end up seeking male companionship outside their families. These resulted to many early relationships and unwanted pregnancies.
With deep prayers, concern and careful words, I encouraged my counsellee to turn to her mom during times of loneliness and pray to God for comfort and strength. I will always remember the words of the psalmist that God is a Father to the fatherless.
This post and topic shall be continued in my next posts…