Hello Hello Beautiful People! I hope you all are going to have a fantastic week! So as we all know this past Sunday was Easter Sunday, and for me that means I ate a bomb meal and my weight in Easter candy. I’m sure my skinny jeans are going to be really annoyed with me, but you have to live a little, right?
So as we all know, this past Sunday is a huge day for us as Christians, for Jesus has done the impossible, He rose from the grave. And you know what? This reminder, this celebration of this moment in history, everything that involves this day could not have come at a more crucial point in my life.
You see, for me this past week was a struggle. It was the week after spring break, so school is really beginning to become stressful, and on top of this it just seemed that everything that could’ve gone wrong this week did. Now on top of all of this, I am very stubborn and I tend not to tell a lot of people my struggles because I don’t want to worry, bother, or even appear vulnerable to people (even my closest friends and family can attest to this). And man let me tell you, the enemy has a party with this. Me and Jesus are working on this and I am no where near proud of it, but it is the truth.
This past week because of all of this mess, I was a wreck. I tried my hardest to hide it. I didn’t want people to worry, and I thought that if I talked about what was going on it would consume me, so I buried it all deep inside. Ironically, that is when it broke me. I became overwhelmed with all that was going on, and at one point this week I felt physically sick and like a shell of a human being because of the emotional mess on the inside of me. But here’s the thing: God is so good. And he intervened in this situation and used my mom and two beautiful worship songs to pull me back to Him. On Thursday, my mom called me and I ended up breaking down and telling her all of what I was struggling with, and she was able to speak to me and calm me down. Because I told her all of what was going on, I was able to get the help and guidance I so desperately needed, and she was able to speak that gentle reminder into my soul of who Jesus is and what He does. It was such a messy yet beautiful moment, I can’t help but praise God for meeting us right in the middle of my mess. Later on that evening, I turned on the Cory Asbury station on Pandora and the songs “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave and “Resurrecting” by Elevation Worship came on. And y’all, if you have not heard those songs, I strongly encourage y’all to listen to them, for I cried (in a good way).
With all of this being said, there is one character/ story in the Bible I really want us to focus on today: the thief on the cross. In Mark 15: 27 it merely states that, “They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.” It reiterates this in Matthew 27:38, but it is in Luke 23: 32-43 that we get to read about an interaction that took place during those dark moments. Lets take a look now:
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Woah. I don’t know about you, but I am simply flabbergasted at this interaction that took place. Even in His final moments when the weight of all of our sin is upon His shoulders, even when it seemed everyone in the crowd was insulting Him, He still forgave them, and he saved the humble thief upon the cross.
“Very Truly I Tell You, Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise.”
I think I need to get that tattooed to my forehead because it is such a beautiful reminder that not all hope is lost, Jesus is resurrected, and that if I would die today I would join Him in paradise. For me, that places all of my deepest internal and external struggles in perspective and reminds me who is in control. Jesus, the friend of sinners, died for us all on that cross last Friday, and He was resurrected to save us all yesterday, and that my friends is glorious.
I hope you all have a fantastic week! Because I know that life can be hard, I want to leave y’all with some words of encouragement I found on Pinterest the other day. I love you all so so much and I am praying for all of you!! (Note: all of these I found on Pinterest and Instagram. All credit goes to the authors. I do not own any of these photos.)