Lord Remember Me!

Lord, Remember Me!
Radio Message / Tract #5

string on finger

No one wants to be forgotten. Being remembered by someone always leaves an impression on us. How does it feel to be remembered by someone who is dying crucified? The Roman authorities in Christ's time publicly tortured and humiliated their criminals by crucifixion. It was probably the cruelest method of execution ever devised. Here's how it was done.

The criminal was first scourged - whipped till his flesh was shredded. Then his hands were stretched apart and nailed to a wooden beam. The beam was fastened across a tall wooden post. The criminal's knees were bent and his feet were nailed to the post. Then the whole arrangement was left standing upright. The criminal hung by his out stretched hands, bleeding, suffocating and dehydrating until he died, which sometimes took days.

In Luke chapter 23, it was Christ himself who was being crucified. He was not the only one being fastened to a cross that day. Verse 32 says, "And there were also two other criminals led with him to be put to death." These were both thieves, being executed for stealing. Verse 33. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

Jesus prayed for those who had just driven the spikes into his hands and feet. He prayed that God might forgive them for all the terrible things they had just done to him. Verse 35 -38. "And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying, If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself. And a inscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, had a sign placed on the cross over Jesus' head. The sign said, "Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews". Yet the people, the rulers and the soldiers did nothing but mock Jesus as he hung dying. Even one of the thieves who was hanging on a cross right next to Jesus began to mock him as well. Verse 39. "And one of the criminals which was hanged railed on him, saying, If you are Christ, save yourself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Truly I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise."

Two thievesÂ… dying on either side of Jesus. We're not told their names. We don't know anything about their backgrounds, their families, or the details of their crimes. All we are told about is their response to the man who was dying between them; their response to Jesus Christ. But friend, that's the only thing that really mattered for them on that day. And that's the only thing that will matter for you and for me when our turn comes to die.

One thief did not believe that Jesus really was the Son of God. He said, "If you are the Christ, the Savior of the world, then save yourself. And save us too." The other thief came to believe, with all his heart, that Jesus really was the Savior of the world. He defended Jesus against the other's mocking. He called him "Lord". He believed that Jesus would one day come again in power to set up his kingdom over the whole earth. And his soul cried out to Jesus, "I'm a guilty sinner! I deserve to die! I've never done anything for you in all my life. But now I know that you are the Everlasting King of Israel. And when you finally do return to rule this world, Lord, remember me!" But Jesus didn't make him wait till his return. Since that very day that thief has been with Jesus in the glories of Paradise. They died together then, but they live together now.

Two dying thieves. We don't even know their names. But these two thieves represent everyone on earth; all of humanity. And one of them represents you. Which one? Friend, which one are you? They were both guilty. So are we all. They were both dying. So will we all. But their response to Jesus made the difference between Heaven and Hell for them. And your response to Jesus will make that same difference for you. Which thief are you?

You may say, "I'm not a thief at all". Every one of us is every bit as guilty of some sin as they were of the sin of stealing. And we each deserve to die for our sin every bit as much as they did for theirs. God has forever declared, "The wages of sin [any sin] is death". Read Romans 6:23. Yet God Almighty offers to us his crucified Son. He died to pay for your sin, no matter what it is, no matter how often you've done it. The Bible says, "Christ died for our sins". (1 Corinthians 15:3). And he died for the sins of both of those two thieves. Both of them! Why then did only one thief die forgiven and go to Heaven?

Because only one thief believed. It is not possible for anyone's wrongs to be forgiven unless they believe. Believe what? Believe that the man who died to pay for their sin really was the perfect, sinless Son of God. There are those on earth who believe that. And there are those on earth who don't. And that's all there is. Just as one thief believed in Jesus Christ, and one thief did not believe, so God divides all of humanity in only two classes of people; those who believe in his Son, and those who don't. There is no neutral ground between the two. Jesus himself said in Matthew 12:30, "He that is not with me is against me".

bystanders gazing at Christ on cross

Where are you, friend, with Jesus or against him? Do you believe Jesus, or are you an unbeliever? Are you trying to decide? The fact is, you have already decided. Until you finally say an absolute "Yes" to Jesus Christ, you are still saying "No" to him. Until you surrender your will and your future to his Word and his plans for you, you are still in rebellion against him. Yet he still loves you. He loves you as if there were no one else in the world to love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever [that's you] believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16. God loved us. God gave his Son to die for our sins. How have you responded to Christ's death for you? Which of the two thieves have you been up till now? Have you been the unbelieving thief, or have you been the believing thief? Have you been for Jesus, or against him? Friend, decide now to believe in Jesus. Bow your head, and make this your prayer.

"Dear Jesus, though I've mocked you with my doubt all these years, forgive my unbelief. Now I know that you are the Son of God. You came down from Heaven. You died in my place to pay for my wrongs. You rose again from the dead. Please forgive all my sins. Come rule in my heart. Lord, remember me! Jesus, I thank you, and I love you. Amen."

clipart of 3 crosses against a sunrise

Friend, if you prayed that prayer and meant it with all your heart, Jesus has remembered you, but he has forgotten your sins, and forgiven them. Pray every day. Read your Bible every day. Find a Bible believing church and attend there regularly.  BT

P.S. Feel free to print out, copy or distribute this page to those you love and pray for. Please include the information below. 

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