Check out this clip from ER. It's the clip we showed at journey church last Sunday. I mentioned it in yesterday's post. We used it to introduce the Desperate People sermon series. It reminds us that desperate people all run, the questions is in what direction. In the case of this man he ran to God. The same was true in the case of the thief on the cross. In the case of the repentant thief, desperation caused him to do four things. (Luke 23:40-42).
(1) Fear God, "Don't you fear God," he said, . . ., v. 40b
(2) Accept responsibility for our actions, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.” v. 41 a
(3) See Jesus for who he really is, "But this man has done nothing wrong." v. 41b
(4) Pray. Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Amazingly in his moment of weakness, Jesus answered his prayer, "Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'" Luke 32:43 Jesus' words in reply to the repentant thief offer three important proofs for us today.
(1) Proof that the Lord alone has power to save.
(2) Proof that salvation is of grace and not of works. What works could the thief do he was nailed to a cross.
(3) Proof that the Lord's mercy is availalbe to anyone no matter when or where they come to Him.
Whether we are facing iminent death or not we are all "desperate people." What are you doing in your desperation? Are you ridiculing Jesus or running towards him? Jesus’ response to the repentant thief, if it teaches us anything, is that he wants us to run towards him and when we do he will hear our prayer.