Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Desperate People

This weekend at Journey Church we began a sermon series called “Desperate People”. We began the message by showing a video clip from ER. It was a clip from an episode called "Atonement". The story is about a man looking for forgiveness before he dies. The Chaplin, unable to give him answers, becomes the object of the dying man's frustration and fear. Angrily he shouts, “I need a real Chaplin, who believes in real God, and a real hell. . . I need someone to look me in the eye and tell me how to find forgiveness because I am running out of time.” Needless to say it is a pretty powerful clip.

The clip reminded me of another desperate man who was facing a similar fear. It was he thief on the cross. The thief was running out of time and needed answers too. Fortunately Jesus was there and he ran to Him. Not everyone does.

There were two thieves crucified on the cross next to Jesus, one on the right and one on the left. Both were equally near to Christ. Both saw and heard all that happened during the six hours that He hung on the cross. Both were condemned and dying men, yet one died in his sins, and the other was promised eternal life with Jesus in paradise (Luke 23:39-43)

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

So where are you in relationship to Christ, are you running towards Him or ridiculing Him? All of us, whether we realize it or not, are just like the two thieves, desperate and dying. The question is “what are you doing in your desperation? Are you ridiculing or running towards Jesus? If we learn anything from this passage we learn that Jesus wants us to run to Him and when we do he will hear our prayer and do even more than we could ask or think. Ephesians 3:20-22

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