You neglected your father and me!

You let the habit rob your youth!

You promised you’d come back!

You’re soon nailed to the cross of your mistakes. Dumb mistakes. What do you see? Death. What do you feel? Shame. What do you hear?

Ah, this is the question. What do you hear? Can you hear Jesus above the accusers? He promises, “Today you will join me in paradise.”

Today. This day. In the stink of it, the throes of it, Jesus makes a miracle out of it. When others nail you to the cross of your past, he swings open the door to your future. Paradise. Jesus treats your shame-filled days with grace.

He’ll take your guilt if you’ll ask him. All he awaits is your request. The words of the thief will do. “We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing . . .”

We are wrong. He is right.

We sin. He is the Savior.

We need grace. Jesus can give it.

So ask him, “Remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

And when you do, the one who spoke then will speak again. “Today you will join me in paradise.”

Reprinted by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN., from the book entitled Every Day Deserves a Chance: Wake Up to the Gift of 24 Little Hours, copyright date 2007, by Max Lucado.  All rights reserved.  Copying or using this material without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited and in direct violation of copyright law. 

Max Lucado, Senior Minister for the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, is the husband of Denalyn and father of Jenna, Andrea, and Sara. He is the author of multiple best sellers and is America's leading inspirational author. Visit his website at