2 SAMUEL 5:1-3 | COLOSSIANS 1:12-20 | LUKE 23:35-43
We’re privileged to witness one of the most intimate moments in the life of Jesus. Luke captures the moment for us. It’s Friday, the day after Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples. It’s Good Friday. Jesus has been nailed to the cross bar and lifted up. There are two insurgents being executed with him. One on a cross to his left and the other to his right. There isn’t anything awesome about the scene. It’s gruesome and ugly. It’s bloody and sadistic.
The religious leaders have banded together near the execution site. They’re grandstanding, shouting so that the crowd, and the people walking past the site, can clearly hear them. “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Chosen One, the Christ of God.” The guards assigned to the execution begin to join in the jeering and the mockery. The whole thing is a macabre circus for them as they listen to the shouts of the religious leaders, and read Pilate’s sarcastic decree of execution. So, they shout, too. “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
In the midst of this madness, one of the crucified begins to join in with the religious leaders and the guards. “Are you not the Messiah. Save yourself and us!” His voice is constricted by pain and the terrible anger that rages inside of him. His choice to fight for the liberation of Israel brought him to his cross. The socalled Messiah being crucified with him did nothing to further the liberation of Israel, yet the focus is on this holy loser.
Then, another voice can be heard. A rebuke comes from the other cross. “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.”
A few hours ago, Judas, a once follower of Jesus, embraced him, and kissed him. Now, a new disciple, a crucified disciple, turns toward Jesus to kiss him. For a few moments, the shouts, the rebukes, the noise, the suffering stops. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus’ words kiss him in return. “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
I shut out the world and its noise.
I look beyond my suffering and the suffering of my human family.
I kiss the Lord of life.
I let my heart speak.
Jesus, Christ, my King,
remember me when you come into your kingdom.