This is Jason Gray‘s favorite passages of Scripture. He explains how the darkest, most tragic moments in our lives can teach us the most beautiful things.
Read (from the New Living Translation)
Have you witnessed a huge act of saving grace? This is why He came.
In today’s reading, we get to see an incredible act of grace, making something horrible into something beautiful.
Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Note: If you’ve read the Bible before, you may notice there are no chapter or verse marks in today’s reading. We got this idea from the Immerse Bible. They’ve taken the entire story of Jesus and stripped it of all distractions – this way it’s a more relaxed read. Like you’re reading a beautiful story. You should check it out!