“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23: 42-43
When we lay something down we fear walking away empty. We wonder how long it might take before anything replaces our missing something - like those burdens we nailed to that rugged cross, yesterday. How long before new ones come or we don't know what to do without them so we claw them off the cross?
We could learn a thing or two from Jesus and the thief.
One thief hurled insults at Jesus. Jeered and taunted him while he suffered. The other acknowledged Jesus as God's son - recognized his need for him - placed his life in Jesus hands, half expecting to leave this life empty handed.
"Jesus," he said, "remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Instead of serving criminal justice, Jesus offered forgiveness, remembrance and life.
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Jesus went beyond forgiveness and offered blessing - kingdom life. And it wasn't just life but eternal life lived in relationship with Jesus. To this criminal, this man who rightly deserved punishment, Jesus said, "You will be with me in paradise."
When we lay it down, put to death that something, we walk away full - full of Jesus - full of hope and a future when God's new heaven and earth are realized. But we must leave our something nailed to the cross; let it die it's proper death so that we may gain new life through Christ.
What is your something that's so hard to lay down?