Sometimes my kids have the sick audacity to ask me for a piece of candy or toy after wallowing in the mud of testy disobedience just a moment before. My response is just and fair: “No way! Are you kidding me?! You just fooled around with badness and now you want me to bless you? Get real. Be good… And then we can talk about candies and toys.”
That’s the right parenting technique right? It would be simply wrong to give in to their request for treats.
And yet, I’m so glad God isn’t fair to me. He lavishes us with mercy and grace… Just when we deserve wrath.
On the cross, a scum-head asked the Son of God to remember him. I am startled by the audacity of this criminal, this nasty sick man. He’s just spent time wallowing around in the mud of badness and now suddenly he asks Jesus for a blessing!
But Jesus is even more audacious. Instead of saying “no way! How dare you ask me for that when you’ve been behaving this way!”… Jesus says, “Okay. That sounds good to me. I’ll remember you. You’ll be with me in paradise straight away.”
Jesus, will you remember me today? And will you help me be full of grace and mercy for others… Just like you are. Amen.