The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. – William Bernard Ullanthorne (18061889)
The two men hung together in the midday heat – an unlikely couple, actually, brought together by horrific circumstances. In a matter of hours, Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, would breathe His last breath and complete His earthly work. A short time later a thief, a man fully worthy of an eternal hell, would also die.
Consider one of the two thieves who hung on a cross beside Jesus. He was neither a "good guy," nor did he have the opportunity to change his ways and give it a "good try." But, when the man asked for a pardon, Jesus said, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."
Across the threshold of death Jesus was waiting for him, ready to invite him into everlasting life – just as He is waiting for you right now if you humbly and honestly receive this free gift.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God... – John 1:12
Jesus died on the cross for you so that your sins can be removed, so you can confidently enter an everlasting life based on what God has done for you, rather than what you have tried and failed to do for Him.
Yes, the Gospel is truly good news to people who know they are bad. The supernatural and transforming message of truth is like pure oxygen in the lungs of someone suffocating under a blanket of works and religion. That is the eternal hope for our future, AND it's actually our living and active reality today. Think about it. If we have received Him, we are His children now. Eternal life in Christ begins now, each and every moment of every day.
That's something we can live with – experiencing Life today – with Christ.
Jesus, I received You as my only hope of eternal life, and I am receiving You right now as my true source of life today. Thank You for giving me the right to be Your child right now, just as I am. Restore to my soul the joy of this radical salvation! Amen.
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