Second Word


“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (NRSV, Luke 23:43)

We read that when Jesus was crucified, two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right hand and the other on his left.

In those days the general rule was that only such men as pirates, rebels and murderers were put to death on the cross.  Presumably these two robbers were associates in crime.  Now their life of crime was nearly over.  A few hours of agony and society would be rid of two more of its enemies.  They had fought against society for years, perhaps, and now nothing was left to them but the bitterness of defeat.

They looked down on the crowd below them.  No one was paying much attention to them.  All eyes were turned on Jesus, all taunts were flung at him.  “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” (NRSV, Luke 23:35).

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