When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left… One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:33,39-43
I was a dead woman walking. I walked around for years as a condemned woman, not realizing that I was actually already sentenced to death row.
I was raised Catholic and believed the spoon-fed lie that my “religion” would save me. Oh, I could tell you how many Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s cursing cost, but couldn’t tell you what The Cross meant for my salvation. I walked around most of my life shrouded by deceit.
Then, one day, everything changed. I was at a Bayside church service when it happened, right after my love life and work life decided to team up and simultaneously hit rock bottom. But what the enemy meant for evil, my God meant for Good.
The faint knocking that had been present for so long soon started to drone out the drums on stage and could no longer be ignored. I had no choice, but to open the door, to answer The Call on my heart.
And there He stood. My eyes opened for the first time as I encountered The Risen Savior. I looked around me, and could see that I was on a cross surrounded by my sin, set to be crucified for my transgressions. But my Jesus had better plans for me. He lifted me off the Cross with His pierced hands and showed me that the Cross already won the war. Jesus already conquered death, freed me from the bondage of my sin, and wiped my ledger clean by the payment of Innocent Blood.
There are only two types of people in this world: the sinner who repents and ask for Jesus’ forgiveness or the sinner blind to his sins and condemned. I was the sinner on the cross who asked Jesus for mercy and remembrance in Heaven. But Jesus did me one better. He set me aside to be a princess in Paradise. I wear a symbol of this daily around my neck, this symbol of His Mercy towards me. I can never forget, no matter how many Bible studies I lead, or how involved I am in the church, that I am the same woman Jesus rescued from that death row, and set aside for His purposes. And I must always remember that I went from dead woman walking, to Saved Woman Praising, for only one reason: I answered that knock, and let Jesus do what Jesus does best. He presented me up to Our Father in Heaven and said, “It’s is finished. This one’s been made new.”
Dear Father in Heaven, my Abba Father, thank You for sending Your One and Only Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins so that we may be adopted into the family as heirs. Thank You for allowing us to be rescued from the cross, from a punishment we fully deserve. Bless the reader tonight, Father. For the Believer, I pray that they always remember who they were, and where, when Jesus rescued them, and for the non-believer, Father, I ask You to soften their heart so they can open the door for The Savior to come through. Thank You Lord for Your continued Guidance and Great Love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.