What Jesus Did! 'Remember Me!' — Luke 23:40-43

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

But the other criminal stopped him. He said, "You should fear God! All of us will die soon! You and I are guilty; we should be killed because we did wrong. But this man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong!" Then this criminal said to Jesus, "Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!" Then Jesus said to him, "Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in Paradise!"
— Luke 23:40-43
Illustration of Luke 23:40-43 — "Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in Paradise!"

Key Thought

Jesus had told his disciples "Remember me!" as they shared in the Lord's Supper. So for thousands of years, Christians the world over take the bread and fruit of the vine during the Lord's Supper and remember Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Ironically, even while the thief is dying on a cross near Jesus, he confesses Jesus' innocence and then asks that Jesus "Remember me." So in the horror of his own crucifixion, Jesus offers this dying man a special moment of grace. Jesus reassures the dying criminal that he will share paradise with Jesus. Jesus will remember him! Jesus is faithful and he will not forget this man's request. Jesus will also remember our confessions of faith, deeds of kindness done in his name, and our faithfulness to the Father. "Remember me!" we cry out to the Lord; thankfully, we already know his answer!

Today's Prayer

Father, never ever let me outlive my faith in Jesus and my hope that is stirred every time I remember what he has done for me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The soldiers led Jesus away {to be killed}. At that same time, there was a man coming into the city from the fields. His name was Simon. Simon was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced Simon to carry Jesus' cross and walk behind Jesus. Many, many people followed Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. They felt sorry for Jesus. But Jesus turned and said to the women, "Women of Jerusalem, don't cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too! The time is coming when people will say, 'Happy are the women that cannot have babies! Happy are the women that have no children to care for.' Then the people will say to the mountain, 'Fall on us!' The people will say to the hills, 'Cover us!' If people act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come?" There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be killed. Jesus and the two criminals were led to a place called "The Skull." There the soldiers nailed Jesus to his cross. They also nailed the criminals to their crosses. They put one criminal beside Jesus on the right, and they put the other criminal beside Jesus on the left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people {that are killing me}. They don't know what they are doing." The soldiers gambled with dice to decide who would get Jesus' clothes. The people stood there watching {Jesus}. The Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. They said, "If he is God's Chosen One, the Christ, then let him save himself. He saved other people, didn't he?" Even the soldiers laughed at Jesus and teased him. They came to Jesus and offered him some wine. The soldiers said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!" (At the top of the cross these words were written: "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.") One of the criminals began to shout very bad things at Jesus: "Aren't you the Christ? Then save yourself! And save us too!" But the other criminal stopped him. He said, "You should fear God! All of us will die soon! You and I are guilty; we should be killed because we did wrong. But this man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong!" Then this criminal said to Jesus, "Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!" Then Jesus said to him, "Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in Paradise!"

Luke 23:26-43

Related Scripture Readings

"I tell you, if any person stands before other people and is willing to say that he believes in me, then I will say that person belongs to me. I will say this before the angels of God.

Luke 12:8

Remember Jesus Christ. He is from the family of David. After Jesus died, he was raised from death. This is the Good News that I tell people. And I am suffering because I tell that Good News. I am even bound with chains like a person who has really done wrong. But God's teaching is not bound. So I patiently accept all these troubles. I do this to help all the people that God has chosen. I accept these troubles so that those people can have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. With that salvation comes glory that never ends. This teaching is true: If we died with him (Jesus), then we will also live with him. If we accept suffering, then we will also rule with him. If we refuse to accept him, then he will refuse to accept us. If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful, because he cannot be false to himself.

2 Timothy 2:8-13

God is fair. God will remember all the work you have done. And God will remember that you showed your love to him by helping his people. And God will remember that you continue to help his people.

Hebrews 6:10

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.