Luke 23:39-43 – One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (NIV)
On a trip to Britain to visit family, my husband and I decided to spend a few days in London. There, among the pageantry and history, I discovered an interesting story.
In 1670, Thomas Blood, disguised as a parson and accompanied by three well-dressed young men, visited the Martin Tower. The purpose of his visit was to steal the crown jewels stored in the tower. Once inside, Blood used a mallet he had hidden under his cloak to overpower the guard. The thief then seized the king's crown and tried to flatten it with the mallet so as to get it into his cassock pocket.
By chance, the guard's son, Wythe, rushed into the room to find his father lying unconscious on the floor, bleeding from a head wound. Blood and his gang fled, but a report was immediately sent to the king. King Charles sent for Blood for a private interrogation. What followed was quite unbelievable. Blood said he was sorry, and far from being punished, the king pardoned him, awarded him a pension of five hundred pounds a year, and made him welcome at court.
King Charles' pardon of the man who had tried to rob him is a small example of forgiveness. But when God pardons us, we are granted forgiveness for all our wrong actions and attitudes. God not only forgives us, but invites us to come to live with Him in heaven for eternity.
Prayer: Dear God, we cannot thank You enough for Your total forgiveness for our wrong attitudes, thoughts, and actions. Prepare us to live with You in Your court, heaven. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.