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As the soldier at the foot of the Cross wonders if Jesus really could be God’s Son—wonders if this death could be something more than hundreds of others he’s seen—Jesus suddenly breaks in with another statement. As He looks down from the cross, He sees His mother standing there beside one of His most devoted followers, whose name is John. Looking into the eyes of His mother with those amazing eyes of peace, He says, “Woman, behold your son.” (John 19:26-27) Then looking into the face of the youthful John, He says, “Behold, your mother!” Thus, He has fulfilled His last earthly obligation. Being the oldest son in the family, it is His responsibility to see that His mother is cared for in her latter years. He is dying, thus, He gives her to a trusted friend (and John fulfilled that obligation). Watching all of this, the soldier is becoming more convinced that Jesus is Who He says He is. And if He is God’s Son, then that fact demands He be listened to. If He was God’s Son, then He would be right about everything. And if there was only one God and He sent His Son to earth to be a man that would prove He cared about us. If this was true, the Creator was evidently trying to communicate something to us humans. What could it be?
Quite some time elapsed as the soldier thought about this. Then a different voice was heard from a cross. It was one of the men condemned to die alongside Jesus that day. In a desperate attempt to get loose from the cross, he tries to incite Jesus to do something about their plight, “If you’re really the Messiah, free yourself—and us!” While Jesus remains silent, the thief on the other side calls back, between his gasps for air, “Don’t you fear God, seeing you are condemned to die just like this Man? And we indeed justly.” He then speaks to Jesus. “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (Luke 23:39-43) It was then that Jesus broke His silence. With a laboring voice, He said, “Today, you shall be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Thus it has been ever since Adam’s wrong choice in Eden. One person is calloused toward God and His ways, allowing the circumstances of life to embitter him. Another is sensitive to God, and allows the circumstances created by his own wrongdoing to melt his heart and steer him toward God; he admits he will face God last and give an account for his earthly life, and he desires to be right with Him. One lives for earth and its fleeting rewards and pleasures. The other lives—be it ever so briefly—for eternity and becomes on earth and in eternity a useful vessel through which the life of God flows.
For the “awakened” soldier standing beneath Jesus, this repentant thief may have become a roadmap. He may have suddenly become aware of some things he had suppressed his whole life—until now. Such as knowing there had to be an intelligent Creator behind this universe; that being so, that Creator must have had a purpose in mind for all of His Creation, including man. And since man was obviously the highest being on earth, he certainly would have a noble purpose to fulfill. And he (this soldier) was one of those men. His purpose must have been pre-determined also! And if this Creator had designed him for purpose, then he surely, at some point, would give a report to his Creator as to whether he had fulfilled his purpose.
Are you willing to admit God has a purpose—and a judgment—for you?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.
(This message has been taken from our book Why God Birthed America. You can order a copy of Why God Birthed America at HERE)