Friday, April 3, 2009

Faith, Timing, Risks, and Trials, Part Two

On the same day I read about the Israelites not going to the Promised Land, I read about the crucifixion. And something odd struck me.

Sometimes we think the wrong person got “lucky.”

Go back to that day 2000 years ago. There were four people intimately involved: Jesus, Barabbas and two thieves. Originally, Barabbas was to be the centerpiece of a holiday crucifixion. Execute the rebel to remind the natives that Rome was in charge.

Our natural tendency would be to say that of the four, Barabbas was the one who got lucky. I mean, he was bumped off the center cross and Jesus literally died in his place.

But was he the lucky one?

Maybe not. See, best I can tell, Barabbas may have lived for many more years, but there’s no record of him becoming a follower of Jesus (and I’m sure if he had, somebody have written it down). So he may have lived a long life, but he’s probably enduring an even longer eternity without Jesus.

Which isn’t true of one of the “unlucky” thieves.

Sure, he died on a cross. But he died next to Jesus. And unlike his hostile fellow thief, he recognized Who he was next to. Instead of walking away to a life without Jesus, he entered eternal live with the promise, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

So, tell me again, who was the lucky one?

Which brings us to our lesson to remember. Be careful about running away from problems, challenges and hardships.

Sometimes our blessings come through a cross.

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