When someone is crucified like Jesus was, it is the most horrific way to die. Your body becomes dehydrated from the blood and fluids oozing from the wounds. And all the time this is happening you are slowly suffocating to death. Imagine enduring six hours of crucifixion until you finally die.
Since I have chronic, acute asthma; I throughly know the excruciating pain when your respiratory system is shutting down. I either have to grab an epi-pen, rescue inhaler, breathing treatment or all three within a short amount of time. If I had to go through six hours of this torture, I would seize the wine laced with drugs and myrrh and drink myself into a coma! Jesus did not.
The pain and suffering Jesus endured, brings an overbearing sadness upon me. It is a daunting task for me to write, read, or even watch a portrayal of Jesus’ crucifixion. To know He was beaten, shamed, and turned on by the very people who He came to save, physically breaks my heart. Yet I do know, Jesus did suffer our human world, all because He loves us and because we believe in Him. My favorite bible verse sums it all up… 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved.”
And this is the reason why Jesus’ crucifixion must be told over and over again!
So, another point I want to make about being crucified is your ability to be fully aware of your surroundings and to communicate with those watching on the ground below. When you are crucified, if you want to speak, you must push the crushing weight of your dying body up on the cross. This will allow you to gasp some air to be able to utter a few words, before you must push repeatedly to vocalize a sentence. Jesus spoke seven statements. And to me, these statements must have been very important to Him. There was one statement, which I believe to be very important to the Christian faith!
Allow me to set the scene for you. Jesus is in the middle, up on a hill, nailed to the cross, blood oozing from his body and His lungs collapsing from the suffocation. His heart is pounding, working at an abnormal rate trying to revive the body, and get air into the lungs. His Father would not save Him. Jesus was alone and abandoned. It was how it had to be. There were two criminals being crucified with Jesus, one on each side of Him. And this is their conversation…
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t your fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23: 39 -43
The criminal had not prayed a prayer of salvation. He had not worked at the homeless shelter, or been a part of every small group in a church. No, he believed in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ knew it!
When you believe in Jesus Christ, praying a prayer of salvation is a shortcut to me. Because if you really know our Savior, you will ask for forgiveness, you will ask for help with your everyday life, and you will ask Jesus to show you how you can help others. Jesus will then lovingly and joyfully guide your night and your day. Because you asked. And Jesus will welcome you into His eternal home, when your time on earth is gone!
An intimate, holy relationship with Jesus, is about believing in more than your eyes can see and knowing a love only your heart can feel!
Like the criminal, do you ever ask, “Jesus will you remember me?”
Remember to purchase my Christian Children’s Book, “The Tent Maker” at http://www.thetentmaker.org!