Almost 2,000 years ago a man died for me. Knowing my name, knowing the number of hairs on my head, he died for me. Knowing that I hated him, he died for me. Knowing my worthlessness and weaknesses, he died for me. The God of vengeance visited his own son so he might pass me over. Blood of infinite worth and power was spilled for me. Nails between his bones held him up on a wooden stake so he could suffocate to death for me. Thorns squeezed blood from his head because he was a king not yet ascended. Crowds mocked and I would have too, if I was there. Or, maybe I'm the thief and not a soldier. Maybe my eyes, these 2,000 years later, would be open to truth in all its beauty. Maybe my ears have heard the amazingly gracious promise, "Today you will be with me in paradise." Like that thief, I have done nothing to earn these words from the dying Savior.
On this day, grace was so amazing that it approached insanity. As the heart fills with gratitude, the mind swirls in incredulity - How can this be? How does this work? What kind of God would make a deal like that for me? And then heart and mind combine to confess with the apostle, O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! I am no detective of grace, no investigator of God's wisdom, no explorer of his ways. The depths cannot be plumbed and grace's motivation cannot be fathomed. I am a thief, dying. Dying yet holding in my hand an invitation to a feast. And what a feast! But that's for another day. This is Friday, the day a man died for me.