And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
The last hours of Jesus were spent almost in silence. Teaching is at an end. His prophetic office is fulfilled. His priestly work has begun. The time has come to endure. But in the few words which He did utter He seemed to be all Saviour — never before so affectingly and impressively Saviour.
I. THERE IS A CRUCIFIED MALEFACTOR. Could Jesus interest Himself in such an one? Is he not beneath His notice? Ah! the Saviour can only know man as man. It is our nature as men, with all its mysterious, dread, and ineffable possibilities, that Jesus came to redeem. A dying malefactor contrite, is nearer to Jesus than a living king impenitent and estranged from God.
II. THE LORD IS VERY GRACIOUS. He did not breathe a word about that past guilty life. You and I would probably have recalled to the malefactor his terrible career, and would have felt it our duty to impress upon him a due sense of that evil state. A Saviour could not do that. Well, the Lord knew that no one ever turns to God whose heart is not already bruised and broken. When poor souls go to the Lord, it is not smiting which they need, but healing. Jesus blotted out the dreadful past, and unrolled the vision of the future. Our Lord seemed to say, "Yes, I will remember thee, but thy 'sins and thine iniquities will I remember no more.'"
III. HOW ANXIOUS OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR WAS TO ASSURE THE PENITENT OF THE MERCY WHICH HE COVETED! "Verily I say unto thee." It was only in moods of special intensity and on occasions peculiarly solemn that our Lord resorted to the asseveration. Verily I say unto thee. How the all-pitying Saviour shone forth in this emphatic expression!
IV. THE GREAT REDEEMER WAS ABSORBED TO THE LAST MOMENT IN THE WELFARE OF OTHERS.
V. IT WAS RIGHT TO PRAY TO THE LORD JESUS.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.