Words from the Heart for Friday March 30th, 2018

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.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)

With the Criminals

Words ring out from the cross. We might not expect to hear what Jesus says about the criminals who are with Him in that place of punishment and death. Jesus is sinless and is dying for the guilty. In the midst of that suffering He cries out, “Father, forgive them…” Today we have forgiveness even when we don’t deserve it.

Listen to Words from the Heart

 

In 1749, Peter Cartcel, a sailor aboard a ship in the Halifax harbour, stabbed Abraham Goodsides to death and wounded two other men. He was brought before a Captain’s Court where a jury of six men, in just half an hour, found him guilty and sentenced him to death. Justice was swift and two days later he was hanged from the yardarm of the vessel as a deterrent to others. This is one of the earliest records of capital punishment in English-speaking Canada.

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The Cross has always divided. What do I mean by that? On the day that Jesus was crucified, He hung between two criminals. Luke 23:33-34 describes it this way: “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. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” On this day we call Good, we focus on the three that hung there. What a contrast in the response of each of the criminals. Historians tell us that it is likely they knew each other and had for some time. They had likely been sentenced to death for trying to overthrow the hated Roman regime. They would have had similar backgrounds, similar political views and faced the similar fate. Until Jesus hung between them. That day on the cross Jesus came between them and their eternal destiny separated them. One mocked Him and despised Him. The other humbly reached out to Him in faith and asked Him to remember Him when he set up His Kingdom. On which side of the cross are you?
These have been words from the heart.

These have been words from the heart.
Bob Beasley