“Jesus, Remember me when I come into your Kingdom.” Those were the words that stood out to me at church this weekend. As Christ was hung on the cross, between two criminals, one of the criminals asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into His Kingdom. Those that find themselves reflecting on their life when the end is near will either acknowledge their sins or will close their hearts to God. That is just a fact. This one of the criminals saw his sin clearly and sought out Jesus’ forgiveness. I feel like I will be strong like that. I know I am not sinless. Even on my best days, I still sin. I just hope that when it comes to the end of my life, that I can come to grips with all my mistakes and ask Jesus to remember me when I walk up to those pearly gates.
As we start Holy Week, this is the time to reflect on the sins that we cast upon Jesus. After all, He died in order for us to have eternal life. And in order for us to have eternal life, we must give our sins to Jesus. The criminal recognized that. He opened his heart to Jesus before the end of his life. Pretty powerful. It is one of those moments that a lot of people skim over when reading the Passion of Christ. Unfortunately, the criminal is us. As believers (Christians) we must be open to our sins and ask for forgiveness – it is a must. We must humble ourselves so that we can see the full Glory of God. Holy Week isn’t a time to be sad and feel guilty about our sins, but it is a time to acknowledge we are human and ask for forgiveness. It doesn’t bring us sorrow; it brings us joy. Holy Week is filled with hope. Hope the continues past our sins. Hope that is formed from our own humility.
Humbling yourself is not easy because you must admit that you made a mistake. The other day, Pete wanted my opinion on organizing the barn. He had this “fabulous” idea that putting the shelving in aisles would be great. I thought it sounded kind of, well let’s just say, stupid. So because I didn’t like the idea, I shot it down. Just a note to all husbands reading this – never ask your wife her opinion when she is in the middle of a really stressful event in her life. As the story continues, Pete talked with my sister (who I like to call my decorator) and she said she liked the idea. So off Pete went to his barn. He organized all the “stuff” into cute little aisles.
Later in the weekend, I ventured out into Pete’s new man cave. It actually looked good. I even would go as far as saying, I liked it. The aisles were a good idea. So, with my tail between my legs, I told him how much I liked it. Humbling. I was wrong. I admit it. It doesn’t happen often, but it did that day. In the process of being wrong, I made Pete feel like his idea was stupid. See why we must admit our mistakes and ask for forgiveness? Until we do that, we are blocking our view of God. Humility and pride can be dangerous sins. In the end, I made Pete joyful and happy about his new creation.
Back to the criminal in the story, the criminal not only acknowledged that Jesus was being unjustly crucified, he asked Jesus, “Remember me when I come into your Kingdom.” To reconnect my life with God, I have to constantly ask for Jesus to offer His forgiveness to my sins, so that I can be with Him in His Kingdom. Don’t let humility and pride block your way. Ask forgiveness today – especially during this great Holy Week leading to Easter Sunday. Remember – it is your chance at a new life!