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Youth Ministry Resources - Lord Jesus Christ the King

Luke 23:35-43 - The Crucifixion - Lord Jesus Christ the King

It remains a shocking experience to read about the crucifixion. On the most basic level, the infliction of such violence and degradation by human beings onto another person is deplorable. Unfortunately, humanity has learnt little about the appropriate treatment of our fellow human beings over the past two thousand years. This week's press reported on the mutilated torso of a Polish woman being found in Fallujah.

The next day we saw footage of an American soldier shooting an unarmed, wounded Iraqi insurgent. Again, the next day we heard of the murder of Margaret Hassan, an innocent woman who had devoted her life to helping the most needy of the Iraqi people through her work with Care.

Her murder was too horrible for Al-Jazzeera to broadcast. Everyone is appalled by this senseless killing of an innocent woman. These are only some of the horrors that make the news, there seems no end to the atrocities in our world today.

The crucifixion is even more cruel because Jesus was ridiculed for being who he really is. They were killing the Messiah, the King of the Jews, an innocent man who had done nothing wrong. Jesus had been teaching and practising forgiveness of enemies and to his dying breath, Jesus extends God's mercy to sinners. Jesus' faith in a gracious God and Father who will raise him from the dead is the message of hope that we all take from the shock and horror of the crucifixion.

The repentant criminal has deep faith that Jesus is truly a King and can dispense pardon and mercy which only a king can do. "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." The gates of paradise have been re-opened by the obedience and faith of the new Adam - Jesus. Jesus speaks with royal authority when he assures the repentant criminal that "indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise."

Jesus' kingdom is about bringing each of us into the perfection that we were created to be. As human beings, we make mistakes in life. However, it is not wise to leave our improvement or reconciliation with God until our deathbed.

My limited experience has shown that we die as we have lived - If we have tried to live in relationship with God, that that is how we will die. If we put things off and "worry about that tomorrow" death has a way of creeping up on us and catches us unprepared.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources Lord Jesus Christ the King
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Youth Ministry Resources Lord Jesus Christ the King