“Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with me in Paradise.’”
As a small child I recall singing a great old hymn for children by Fanny J. Crosby in my Sunday School class and the opening words of the hymn went as follows.
Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard.
Well at that tender age I had little interest in the stories of Jesus although somehow I won contests for Bible knowledge. I simply cannot recall why I bellowed out that particular song every time it was sung in Sunday School.
Only the stories of Jesus doing powerful things really caught my attention as a child. I did not care about what He taught, I just liked a good show and our Lord’s miracles certainly provided that for my overactive imagination.
I loved to hear about Jesus sleeping in the boat on the Sea of Galilee and a life threatening storm rising up and getting ready to drown all of the disciples and Jesus. Then the Lord was awakened from sleep, He rose and with a word calmed the sea. I thought that was spectacular.
Then there was the story of Jesus at the grave of Lazarus and calling for His beloved friend to come out of the opened tomb. I tried to imagine the shocked faces of the people when the dead man rose and came out of his own grave. To me this was great.
What escaped my attention as a small child was a much more glorious time in our Lord’s life when He was “apparently” weak and yet proved enormously strong. It was the scene when Jesus was on the cross. Our beloved Lord and Saviour never appeared to be weaker. For the disciples at the cross it was the lowest point in all their time with Jesus.
They looked on at this horrible scene and could hardly believe that the One they knew who raised the dead was about to lose His own life. It seemed impossible for Jesus, Who had calmed the storm with a word, to now be unable to get Himself out of this tragic situation.
Yet at a time when He was so occupied with His own sorrows, He reached into Satan’s kingdom of darkness and took a man for His kingdom of light. I simply cannot imagine anything as spectacular as that.
How can any one of us ever think that our Lord is so preoccupied with running the universe that He will not take time for our concerns? We who are the dust on the face of eternity cannot be significant to the supreme Creator, or can we?
Our story of Jesus on the cross redeeming this poor wretch of a man tells us the greatest story of Jesus in all of Scripture. Get rid of any doubts you have over whether or not the God of the universe cares for you. Here is proof positive. If He reigned from a cross He surely reigns today from the throne of heaven.