He came from a rough and ragged place, a thief who had lived a life on the periphery of society, stealing to survive, he is eventually caught and condemned. His roots are unknown; his age is unknown. What pulled him into a life of crime, we are not told. What we do know is that in the moment of his greatest agony he became an advocate for the innocent, the man who hung between him and his fellow thief. “Are you blind? Can’t you tell that this is an innocent man. We know our own kind. He is not one of us!” Then this man who had lived most of his life in darkness dared to ask for the light for which he dared not hope: “Please, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The two thieves who hung on the cross that day certainly were in a state of ultimate desperation. There was no chance for reprieve or rescue, yet one chose to rail at the man who hung between them. “If you are who they say you are, save yourself and us!”
How often have we found ourselves wrapped in desperation with no place to go and no where to turn? What has been our response in those times? Have we turned to God and asked, “Remember me?” or did we cry out, “If you are who you say you are, why don’t you rescue me?”
The difference between the two thieves is more than just the different responses to the same situation. The difference lies in the heart of the individual for it is the heart that dictates the action. One heart is hardened and no longer dares to believe there is hope for anything. Another heart, broken by time and circumstance, dares to believe in spite of the situation and out of that “courage” comes the penitent plea: “Remember me.”
Remember me in my distress, Lord.. Remember me in my brokenness, Lord. Remember me in my loneliness, Lord. Remember me in my loss, Lord. Remember me. Remember me.