We are told that on the day we now call Good Friday, Jesus was crucified along with common criminals. One of the criminals accepts the consequences of his past behaviour. That man recognizes that Jesus is innocent and discerns the wisdom, strength, love and Divinity of Jesus. He asks Jesus to “remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (Luke 23:22) Jesus responds, saying “Today you will be with me in Paradise”.
The other criminal taunts Jesus, encouraging Jesus to demonstrate his power by saving them all. Jesus gives no attention to that person.
What is the lesson for us, in this story?
At this time of pandemic, our normal everyday life has ended. As we self isolate and physically distance ourselves in our homes, we are in a metaphorical tomb. This is our opportunity to pause, reflect and prepare for our new life. Just as Jesus did on the cross, we can choose what we want to see in our new future. We can invite those aspects of our past everyday lives that serve us: our love, our wisdom, our compassion, to join us in our new, greater expression of life, our Paradise. We can also release and let go of those aspects of ourselves from our past that do not serve our greater good. Note that Jesus didn’t try to convince the thief who condemned him: he gave that man no attention at all. Jesus didn’t berate the man for his poor judgement: he gave that man no attention at all. While you are in the tomb, in this perfect opportunity to pause, reflect, and reset, what “thief” thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and actions will you allow to fade away, gently and without judgment? And what aspects of yourself will you invite into your new life?
Think of the cross as a crossroads. As a junction of sorts. As you prepare for new life, what do you want to take with you as you continue upward in your journey to a higher experience of life?