Friday, April 6, 2012

"When:" Not "If;" "WHEN"

One of my favorite conversations is one recorded about two thousand years back, at a public execution. Each of the three men being killed were standing, more or less: nailed to a framework we call a cross.

Jesus didn't look all that impressive at this point. The crown of thorns may not have done much damage. The beating might not have left many obvious marks either.

The scourging, though, would have - and the cumulative effect must have been an ironic contrast to the "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews" sign left by Pontius Pilate. Luke has the sign reading "This is the King of the Jews." Which is pretty close to what's abbreviated as INRI on most crucifixes. That acronym is from the Latin version of the inscription - which Pilate had written in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. And that's another topic.

"When You Come Into Your Kingdom?!"

Human nature being what it is, it's not unusual for someone meeting a celebrity to ask a favor. These days, it's often a request for an autograph.

For example, the sons of Zebedee had asked Jesus "...that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." (Mark 10:37) Down-stage left and right at Golgotha almost certainly wasn't what they had in mind. More topics.

Back to those three men, each one nailed up and left to die. Here's that conversation:
"6 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, 'Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.'

"The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, 'Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?

"And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.'

"Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'

"He replied to him, 'Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.'"
(Luke 23:39-43)
Even adjusted for the all-too-human tendency to ask favors of celebrities - what that fellow said shows amazing faith:
"...'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' "
(Luke 23:42)
Not "if:" "when."

The answer Jesus gave was reassuring, too. And that's yet again another topic.

Related posts:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Missing an article: "nailed to framework we call a cross."

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Fixed, and thanks!

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