"One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: 'Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!'
But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said, 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.'
Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'
Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'"
"But this man has done nothing wrong." Usually when we say something like that- "I didn't do anything wrong!"- we don't mean it literally. We may really mean something like, "I didn't do precisely what you are accusing me of." But in regards to Jesus, it is literal. He really, truly, did absolutely nothing wrong. He never even thought sinful thoughts. Never once gave into temptation. And yet He was punished:
"Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, 'I find no basis for the charge against this man.'" -v.4
"'as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.'" -v.15b-16
"'I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.'" -v.22
Huh? Pilate knew Jesus wasn't guilty of the charges, so... he decides to punish Him. Even though He didn't do anything. Talk about injustice. And God allowed it. This injustice against Jesus brought justice for all of us.
Verses 39-43, I think, give a succinct picture of that Injustice for Justice. We can either hate Jesus, or we can love Him. We can mock Him or respect Him. We deserve punishment; He doesn't, but He accepted the punishment anyway. And if we ask for His mercy, He will grant it to us, and we will be with Him in paradise.
Yesterday was frustratingly busy. I spent most of the day at DangerBear's office. (I'm the unofficial office manager, even though I have no idea what I'm doing.) I had to file withholding taxes and all that stuff, which I had never done before. Rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's isn't what gets me; it's finding the right forms! "Take line 6, add it to line 4, multiply it by line 8a, subtract line 43, spin around three times, and cluck like a chicken." It's finally done, thank God, at least for this quarter. I'm praying I didn't screw anything up.
Again, I didn't bake any bread, and I probably won't this weekend. That's fine; I'll just bake as I have the time and whatever I end up with is great. DangerBear actually likes my bread now. (I think his exact words were along the lines of, "It actually tastes like bread now.") So that makes me happy. I also found out that baked bread freezes really well. After it cools, I wrap it really well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. I defrost it at room temperature, and I've also had good results with defrosting it in a slow oven, still wrapped in the foil (but not the plastic, obviously).
I'm enjoying writing these posts, although I don't think I'm a terribly good writer and I don't pretend my Bible reading notes are anything really deep. I'm just writing about what's on my mind. I saw on Google analytics that I've had some visitors, which is neat. Actually, I logged on yesterday and it said I had something like 20 visitors the day before. I was ridiculously excited until I realized that, like, 18 of them were me!
Priorities for today:
* Finish going through papers in living room
* Go through expanding file of papers
* Get through those inter-library loan books
* Have fun with DangerBear and Chickpea
* Don't think about taxes
I've been thinking through a daily planner template to help keep me on track. Once I design it, I'll see if I can post it here for the 18 me, myself, and I's that visit. In case all of me are interested. Or something...
Lord, thank you so much for suffering injustice for our sake. Thank you for accepting punishment that you didn't deserve so that I may join you in paradise. Please forgive me for not playing with Chickpea enough yesterday. Thank you that it's the weekend and that we can all spend some time together relaxing! Please give us safe travels today, and I pray that I did DangerBear's taxes correctly.