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Foxhole Conversion
Photo: Orcun Tahtali
"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42).

There’s a saying that states, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” Foxholes are dug on the battlefield by soldiers where they can hide protected while bullets whiz over their heads. When facing almost certain death, many men and women return to their faith and pray for repentance and for their lives. Many of them, when they make it out of the foxhole alive, forget all about it, but some don’t.

When you read the story of the criminals that were hung on crosses on either side of Jesus, it would be easy to think that the one who asked to be remembered by Jesus was having one of those foxhole conversions, but I think it was more than that.

Imagine the three crosses. Two of the men on those crosses were known criminals and according to the law deserved to be crucified. As we know, the man in the middle had done no wrong. But the crowds, the soldiers, the religious officials were ignoring the bad guys and pouring all of their hatred on the man in the middle, the sinless one. Both criminals could see and hear everything that was being aimed at Jesus, the insults, the mocking, the crowd calling for him to die.

If I were hanging on the cross next to Jesus, the easy way out would be to keep my mouth shut or maybe even join the crowd and add my own insults, which one of the guys did. I probably wouldn’t have been interested in joining his congregation,after seeing how he was treated.

But something touched the other criminal’s heart. Instead of joining in the mocking, he unashamedly cried out loud enough for Jesus,  the other criminal, the soldiers and the angry crowd to hear, “This man has done nothing wrong.” But he didn’t stop there, with courage and belief he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Thankfully for us, God's memory is infinite. He knew us before we were born; he numbered the hairs of our head. He's just waiting for us to accept His invitation to live with Him forever.

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By Dee Reed. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the New Living Translation © 1996.

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