They also led two other criminals to be executed with Jesus. When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”…One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”
by Chris Holliday, Resurrection West Connection & Care Pastor and Adult Discipleship Director
It's hard to imagine the pain and cruelty of a crucifixion. While some watched in devastation and horror, others mocked those dying and even celebrated the event. Yet as we think about the history of the world and of our own lives, we have seen too often the worst of humanity.
Hopefully far more often, we’ve also seen the best. We have observed people coming to the aid of others, caring for them, standing up for them, saving them – especially in the worst of times. And thankfully, we’ve frequently joined in that good work and strived to put our faith into action.
God did not create us to sin. We were created out of love, to love. As a society and as individuals, we all fall short at times – sometimes woefully so. As you consider what humanity did to Jesus, what we’ve done to each other and how we’ve each personally strayed, I invite you to pray this prayer of confession and hope from Psalm 51. And remember, even at our worst, “nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38a, CEB)
Psalm 51:1-2;10,12 (CEB)
Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!
Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion!
Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
purify me from my sin!
Create a clean heart for me, God;
put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
Return the joy of your salvation to me
and sustain me with a willing spirit. Amen.
Click Here to download this weeks Lenten Guide.
The Lenten Guide is a tool to encourage families to spend time together in prayer, conversations, and discovery. Make time on Sunday afternoons or an evening at the dinner table each week as we approach the hope of Easter. Consider using the following tips/guidelines as you share this time:
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