Updated: Jan 31, 2021
This week I was listening to this beautiful little girl sing the song Tomorrow from the musical Annie. She sang and played with so much confidence it was a joy to watch. I am sure you have heard but this is how it ends:
The sun’ll come out Tomorrow So ya gotta hang on ‘Til tomorrow Come what may Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You’re always A day A way!
It’s funny because listening to this song “Tomorrow” got me to thinking about “today” and a passage of scripture I had read the day before on Christ’s crucifixion. This is the passage:
New International Version (NIV)
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Last week I wrote about Job a man who loved the Lord and tried to do what was right yet all this bad luck seem to fall upon him. Job, unsuccessfully, tried to understand why these things were happening to him. His friends gave their incorrect assessment of why they thought God was allowing this calamity in Job’s life. As Job was feeling sorry for himself God Himself began to speak with Job and ask him questions like:
Job 38:1-11 NIV
1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy? 8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?
God goes on and makes His point that He is God! God then later restored Job and everything he lost plus some! So now in the book of Luke we have this criminal on the cross next to Jesus. Actually there were two one on each side. One who asked if Jesus was who He said He was and requiring that Jesus prove it by taking away the pain of the cross! And the other who recognized Jesus as Saviour and also recognized his need for Jesus. He didn’t know the steps to salvation, probably had never been to church. He didn’t go about doing good and loving the Lord like Job. He was on that cross because of decisions he had made and totally deserved to be there just as the other criminal. But this criminal knew Jesus didn’t deserve what He was getting. He saw and recognized the Light. He acknowledged Jesus as God and asked for Him not to forget about him when He gets to His Kingdom. It gives me goosebumps and brings tears to my eyes when I picture Jesus turning His head and peering into the eyes, the heart and the soul of this known criminal, this desperate man and telling him: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Wow. Having Jesus look at you in your desperate situation and acknowledge you, talk about amazing grace. Jesus didn’t ponder His answer, He didn’t make him wait and He didn’t say it was too late.
People may not feel like forgiving you, they may be tired of your mistakes, they may have lost patience with you and have given up on you. But when you tell Jesus you need Him and He looks at you and tells you that you are loved and forgiven there is nothing like it. People may not “get” you or believe in you and others may even revel in your situation but truly none of that matters. Jesus totally gets you. After all they put Him on that cross too. Some didn’t believe in Him and the ones that did were too scared to say. So here is this criminal going through the worst day of his life as a matter of fact he is facing the end of his life and Jesus tells him “TODAY” you are going to be with ME! This criminal was still going to have to face the execution but not without hope. Hope in Jesus brought him mercy today! We may have to face hard things in life, some that we brought on and some we didn’t, but not without hope. Jesus can save you. He can restore you. You don’t have to wait till tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you identify more with Job or the criminal you can receive salvation today. You can be shown mercy today. He can intervene in your situation today. Just acknowledge who He is, Saviour. Admit you need Him, repent. And receive His mercy today!
Ms. Wanda, GAC