Out of all the mocking which was going on that fateful afternoon two thousand years ago on the mount of Calvary, one thing was strange. It was not the thieves who were mocked at, but the man who was hanging with the label “This is the King of Jews” was going through all the humiliation but keeping quiet as though he was destined for it.
He was born a carpenter’s son though he came in the genealogy of King David, a true royal blood. His father and mother could not find any room to deliver the baby and hence he ended up in manger. He was hunted down by great King Herod for no reason. The hunting was not quenched until all children under the age of two in the town of Bethlehem were killed. He was saved and rushed to Egypt till King Herod was dead and buried. He lived a life of refuge in a foreign land.
There is no documentation of his early life because there is nobody to write about it. He was neglected and unnoticed till he became twelve, when the Pharisees got the glimpse of his knowledge. There was no information about his father after the age of twelve. Probably he lost his father and took the responsibility of his brothers and sisters at the early age.
The prince of earth tried to bribe him. Offered him position, honor and wealth, which no one could resist. But he was walking his life, which was already destined, written and prophesied hundreds of years ago through many great men.
He lived his public life for approximately three years. He had great concern for the sick, he loved the unloved, he wept when hearts cried, he fed the hungry and he was searching the lost. He slept less, traveled more and destined to quench the spiritual thirst of those who were thirsty. There was great crowd where ever he went to hear his powerful words, to catch him cunningly and to force him to testify against caeser. He had an answer for all of them. No one could answer his question and there was no one to question, without getting an answer.
The people were expecting a king to conquer Romans, aristocrats were expecting a powerful puppet king like Herod and the poor were expecting a hero. But he called himself a messiah. Some called him a prophet, others thought he was the head of the devil.
There were twelve who followed him as disciples and out of which one turned against him and sold him for thirty pieces of silver. He was arrested and charged. He did not open his mouth as it was written. He had to be forcefully judged by a Roman Governor, who don’t want to condemn him. He was accused, beaten and made to carry his own cross. Received a crown made of the thorn as a gift to his royal genealogy. Finally crucified on the cross flanked by two thieves.
On a fateful afternoon out of all the mocking, it was the thief who asked for his forgiveness. He came to forgive not to rule. He came as a servant, not as a king. He came to save not to kill. He along with the thieves were destined to die before the sun goes down, but the death does not come easily on the cross. The creation was allowed to crucify his creator by divine permission.
Gathering all the strength the thief cried, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom”. In his dying moment, he looked at the thief. The Thief did not have anything to offer except few more painful minutes on the cross. He gave him something no one else can give. A place in heaven. It was a favor for an undeserving and unforgivable thief. It was called grace.
His name was Jesus. Historians wrote about him. Some believed him. Others became his followers. They were called Christians. His followers complicated his following. He had the power to laid down his life and power to take it back. He was God came as a man to forgive everyone’s sins by his grace without any expectation or commitment. For this grace, he had to pay the supreme price, so that it is free for everyone.
The cost of the grace was already paid through his blood to wash away our sins. The cost is the same for the saint and the sinner, king and the slave, rich and the poor, for you and for me.
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