“Remember me….” These words were uttered by a man staring down the dark tunnel of a hopeless eternity. “Remember me.” He didn’t even know the right words, the right formula to use to ask for salvation or rescue. He just knew he was alone… hopeless… forgotten.
Ironically, only “non-persons” were made victims of crucifixion in Rome. The Romans, much to our surprise, had a strong humane streak. People with any standing recognized by the Roman’s law could not be unjustly imprisoned, flogged or crucified.
A Roman soldier or citizen accused of wrongdoing was normally beheaded. Beheading was the last mercy – a dignity – afforded them as a right of their citizenship.
Romans proper would never have seen a crucifixion. Even the word was considered too coarse and profane to be uttered by a refined citizen. It was the place where the worst of the worst of criminals… or the most menial dregs of humanity were executed.
It was the place where forgotten people were taken. People that no one would stand up for were taken to the cross. No one would associate with them. Among all the pains of crucifixion was the one that expressed by a lowly thief hanging beside Jesus: “Remember me….”
The loneliness, the despair of isolation and severance of any semblance of humanity found its expression in two words, “Remember me.” And he found more than a promise to be remembered. He found hope.
He found life. He received a promise. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Jesus, though tormented and suffocating slowly, found a way to offer comfort to a forgotten man. He didn’t promise just to remember him. He promised to take him home with Him!
We always get more than we ask for when we come to Jesus. We always seem to ask too little… too small. Jesus met the lonely that day on cross. He knew what it was like to be alone… and to be lonely.
And if you’ll ask Him, He’ll walk with you right in the middle of it.