THE THIEF'S TESTIMONY
I am a thief; a murderer; the personification of all known vices. I’ve earned my place on this rocky hill, this torturous one way ticket to the tree. I’ve killed for no reason, ransacked for the nerve of it; stolen for pleasure, disregrded everything but myself. It’s been a lonely life, the rouges that were my friends fled with their lives when the soldiers came calling, they left me sleeping unarmed and helpless. I knew all along they had no regard for me, but neither did I. My heart was a black hole, dark as the deepest ocean, where nothing went in and nothing ever cared to peep out. Here I lay now on this rugged piece of wood the Romans so scornfully call the cross, bleeding. My mind goes haywire, my transgressions haunting me as though I was the victim in each frame. The cry of the helpless, the blood of the innocent, the prayer of the righteous, the utter agony of the murdered, pierce my once insolent mind. I know I have wronged; I deserve what I suffer , I’m reaping the rich harvest of what I’ve sowed. I’ve reached the pinnacle of my impertinent careeer, my terminal destination, my final post. As I hang to my woes, my hazy eyes draw the picture of a lamb being slaughtered in my place for my iniquities. How can that be ? my barmy mind ask.
Out in the valley like a mirage, I see another man, brought up the stony path to be crucified. The nearer he gets, the more I hear about him. I see his broken bleedy face, He looks at me with a warmth, I’ve never felt my entire life. His eyes barely open, but deep down I see a twinkle.They spitefully call him the KING of JEWS. I know they don’t mean a word they say. Who dares to incur the wrath of Ceaser these days ? Why do I feel that the Romans are right ? Is it my dying mind ? They laugh at him in derision. They beat him, they spit at him, they make the charade of a king out of him. They bruise every bone of his : from his skull, to his rib, to his hip, to his toe. They make a mockery out of his kingship. I somehow know this is not the end of the King. I somehow know he is much more than the weak human my eyes can see.
He gave me much by one look on my face. I now know I have a brother, I know I have a father, I know I have friend, and someone I can finally trust. Tears roll down my craggy face. I’ve never felt so comforted before. I don’t understand why my heart wants me to ask this of the King, I cry out in the midst of all this pain” Jesus, could you please remember me when you are in your kingdom ?” He turns his head to my side, looks at me with a compasionate tearfull eye, and a difficult smile. He says these golden words to me “ I tell the truth, today you will live with Me in paradise.”
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