These criminals represent us. One of them recognized Jesus for who he was and received him; Jesus promised that when he died he would be in heaven with him. The other man rejected Jesus and closed his heart. Unlike the first criminal, when he died he didn't go to heaven. He went to hell. In that sense, these two men on either side of Jesus are just like every person. We either embrace Christ as our Savior and spend eternity with him, or we reject him and say, 'I don't believe it. I'll have nothing to do with.' And these... Read more »
When we pray, we are speaking to the One Whose eternal purpose and designs are unfolding as our present realities. In order to find hope in them, we must seek HIM and HIS perspective. This requires a keen understanding of the redemptive nature of our existence, which points to the glorious gospel of Christ.
The marquee scrolling across our minds trying to reinterpret life reads: "God-Against-Us." This becomes the dominant lens through which our flesh interprets life. We no longer give our loving Father the benefit of the doubt. Instead, we view every event as conclusive proof that God is against us.
In a society where rationality has ruled so long, the church frequently fails to see that in forsaking the weekly pursuit of the transcendent, we have given up the only ground that was uniquely ours in this world. In attempting to make the church something that can attract and add value to secular mind-sets, we have turned our backs on our one true proposition - transcendence.