MARCH 30, 2021
But that One up there in the middle, the One all bleary-eyed, and battleborn, torn from limb to limb, with a voice gone hoarse from all the writhing in agony - what on earth could he possibly offer anyone?
What does he have? His hands are pierced. He could no longer hold someone in his arms. His feet were nailed to the wood. He could no longer walk across the room and say hello. His clothing belonged to the winning gambler at the base of the cross. There was truly nothing left the eye could see. It appeared to be completely over.
However, there’s a catch! The thief knew something else could be had. Thieves know where to look for valuables. They know that you have to really seek out a hidden treasure. They know that the jewels are in a big black locked safe. They know that the cash is two stories under ground at the bank downtown. They know where things of worth are stored. So, even from his cross, he had scoped out the situation, he had cased the joint, and in the right moment, he made his less-than-sinister move.
He asked for the only thing Jesus had left. He asked for his memory. He asked to be remembered. “Will you remember me?” Surely some scoffed at the pitiful request. But was it really all that pitiful?
If you’ve ever been truly remembered by someone else, then you know that Dismas was asking for the moon. Think of those people throughout your life who cared enough to pick up the phone or come by, or send you a letter in the post. The people you moved away from or those who moved away from you that still remember you. Remembering is a profound way of loving.
Yes, they would be right to laugh were Jesus not Jesus. If he didn’t honestly possess the keys to the Kingdom, asking for a handout like this, truly is humorous. If Jesus really was a fraud, then Dismas would’ve been better off asking the Romans below for a sandwich and a day at the lake because he’d be more likely to see that go his way than actually bust through the gates of paradise.
But as we know, he is God’s Son and in his darkest moment as the sun is blotted out in midday, he’s still somehow running the whole miserable show. Truly, right then and there at his darkest, our darkest, the world’s darkest moment all was still working according to plan. “I lay down my life and I will take it up again.” Or to Pilate he said, “You have no power over me. The only power you have is that which my Father gave you.” Oh, yes, it would’ve been right to laugh at Dismas if Jesus was just another man.
So after giving all that he had, from time, attention, food, clothing, and even the blood in his veins and skin off his back, Jesus still had one thing left to give. He would give his thoughts away to a dying stranger.