We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20b
Listen: 2 Corinthians
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). One of the criminals executed with Jesus accepted his unworthiness and asked Jesus to remember him. He recognized his need for forgiveness. This statement is an act of asking forgiveness.
As we see in today’s verse, the Apostle Paul “implores” the young Christians in Corinth to be reconciled to God. Like the Corinthians and the criminal, we too need to be reconciled with God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus implores us to take him up on his offer of new life and reconciliation with God.
The words of the criminal clearly show us what to do. First, we must understand Jesus’ greatness as one to act and speak on God’s behalf. Jesus was God and man. Second, we must accept our own unworthiness and need for amnesty. Third, we must ask God for forgiveness and place ourselves under his authority. These are the three parts of the safety check.
Jesus’ statement to the criminal is powerful, “…today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). We can know that one day we will be with Jesus if we do the same thing as the criminal.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Ask yourself if you’ve ever responded to Jesus’ offer of amnesty. In week 3 of this series, John Dickson explained how we can take hold of the amnesty offered by Jesus. If you haven’t taken hold of it, the Holy Spirit is imploring you to respond today. Your prayer can be as simple as “God, I believe Jesus is the rescuer. I know I am unworthy and cannot rescue myself. Please forgive me for the things I’ve done and rescue me.” If you have already accepted Jesus’ offer of rescue, spend time considering the wonder of God’s offer and thanking him for rescuing you.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.