“And he was saying, ‘Jesus remember me when you
come in your kingdom.’”
Luke 23:42 (NIV)
Most, if not all of us have been busy doing something and someone started to talk to us. We have found their speech an interruption to our concentration on the task we were performing. Perhaps we simply ignore the person’s chatter. Then, we might find their speaking to be extremely irritating as we must turn to answer them and lose our focus on the work we were trying to do.
On another occasion we might be in great pain and we wish for a quiet, dark room to lie very still and not be disturbed. If someone interrupts our peaceful situation we easily become angry with them and ask them to go away. Trying to cope with pain that is severe is hard work and requires all of our concentration. Any interruption however small is very hard to accept.
Then, if we are interrupted at the time we are in dreadful pain and the person asks us to help them with something we may respond in a fury of words. We wonder why they cannot see how difficult our circumstances are, and they do not seem to understand that we need help. Why should we give someone else help when we are so desperate for assistance ourselves?
All of this is to be seen in our passage today. The situation Jesus is experiencing is the one He asked the Father to take away when He prayed in Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). In Mark 14:34 Jesus confided in the disciples that facing the cross was killing Him it was so dreadful. The poor confused disciples did not know how to answer Him or comfort Him.
So the horrors of the crucifixion were now on Jesus as He hung from the cross. People around the foot of the cross were mocking Him and taunting Him to come down so they could believe on Him. Jesus also had to look at the small group of women and a single man who dearly loved Him. He realised the sorrow His dying was causing them. That made His sorrow greater.
Then He knew that He would be immersed in the hell His people deserved for their sins and realising their sins would be put on Him caused enormous sorrow that we cannot understand. It is beyond comprehension what Jesus was dealing with at the moment the repentant thief on the cross beside Him started asking Him for help.
Jesus needed help desperately and received none. Could He reach out at such a critical moment and help someone else? Could He lay aside all of His enormous grief and do something for the man?
This is what is so incredible about our Saviour. At the precise moment when He was so occupied with our salvation, it seemed that He could put it all aside for a moment and give the desired help to the thief. Never think our God is too busy running the universe to stop and listen to our faint cry for help. Jesus gave the man what he asked for and did it that very day.
You should come to Jesus full of confidence that He shall pay close attention to your prayer and answer it. Come to Him and come today.