Dying with Christ

St. Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ,” thus identifying himself with the two thieves who were crucified with Christ. Two were crucified with Christ, yet only one was raised to paradise. Both thieves, at the beginning, railed against Jesus, mocking Him, and saying with the crowd of onlookers, “if you are really the Christ, come down from the cross and save yourself and us too.” But one thief had a change of heart. One thief was enlightened. One thief realized that death was unavoidable. One thief turned to Jesus and begged: “Remember me!”
It seems that whenever I suffer, I begin complaining against God in my mind: “God why have you let this happen to me!” It seems like I rail against God with the two thieves, “If you are really the Christ, deliver me from this painful ordeal. It’s killing me!” And as I languish in pain–mental, emotional, physical–my attention is drawn to the One suffering with me. Death is unavoidable. To attain to the Resurrection, I must pass with my Savior through death. And so I whisper, “remember me.”

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