Lenten 2021 | Day 45

DAY 45

LUKE 23: 13-43
DEVOTION

That day saw the hypocritical religious establishment using whatever means possible to justify their ends, a bloodthirsty crowd seeking entertainment from the sufferings of others, career-minded Pilate making a decision to appease the crowd, scoffers and hard hearted solders taunting the Lord. We then saw the crucifixion of a totally innocent man.

And doesn’t it trouble you to hear Jesus say to the dying thief, ‘Today you will be with me in paradise!’

That’s not fair! Surely paradise cannot be the home for a criminal who had earlier insulted Jesus. Shouldn’t paradise be reserved for the Lord’s faithful followers? To be honest, it goes against my sense of fairness to see this criminal enter paradise because of a last minute decision. So shouldn’t we call ‘Good Friday’, ‘Unjust Friday’ instead?

What Jesus said to the thief seems to make no sense and is so hard to accept. Yet his ‘unjust act’ of forgiving the thief is what made this particular Friday good. To this day, our Lord continues to demonstrate his forgiveness to each of us. Like the thief, we are guilty as charged and do not deserve his forgiveness. Yet when we believe in him, the Lord calls us his dear children and prepares a place for us in heaven. Yes, ‘Good Friday’ is indeed good.

FOR REFLECTION

• Does the Lord’s ‘unfair’ act challenge my idea of fairness?

• How does the Lord’s reaction to what happened to him on Good Friday challenge my response to people and circumstances each day?

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