12 ‘Lord, Remember Me’ - Eddy D'Sa

posted Apr 10, 2019, 9:04 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 10, 2019, 9:04 AM ]

“Kyrie, Na Me Thymasai” (Greek)

Three elements conspire in the making of every great message: a pulpit (from the Latin "pulpitum" meaning platform or staging), an audience and a truth. These three were present in the two most notable messages in the life of Jesus - the first and the last which He delivered to mankind. The pulpit of His first message was the mountainside; His audience - unlettered Galileans; His truth - the Beatitudes. The pulpit of His last message was the Cross; the audience - saints and sinners; the sermon was the Seven Last Words. Every word He says is set down for the purpose of an eternal publication and an undying consolation. There was never a preacher like the dying Christ. There was never a congregation like that which gathered about the pulpit of the Cross. There was never a sermon like the Seven Last Words.

There is a legend to the effect that when Joseph and Mary were fleeing into Egypt with their baby to escape the wrath of Herod, they stopped at a desert inn. Mary asked the lady of the inn for water in which to bathe the Babe. The lady then asked if she might not bathe her own child, who was suffering with leprosy, in the same waters in which the Divine Child had been immersed. Immediately upon touching those waters baptised with the Divine Presence, the child became whole. Her child advanced in age, and grew to be a thief. He is Dismas, now hanging on the Cross at the right hand of Christ! Now a spark from the central Cross falls upon his soul, creating in it a glorious illumination of faith. He sees a Cross, but adores a Throne; he sees a condemned man, but invokes a King: "Lord, remember me when Thou shalt come into Thy Kingdom."

So the Second Word from the Cross: "Today, you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). If the First Word: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34) embraced all mankind within the scope of the dreadful act of crucifying Jesus and the potential of forgiveness through His prayer, then the Second Word narrows its focus to one single needy sinner. God not only sees the whole world, but He sees it made up of individuals. On that fateful day in the history of the world, it happened that there were two thieves who were crucified alongside Jesus. This fact isn't just recorded to give a bit of colour to the dark scene. It's not just to round up the story, but as a piece of evidence that what was happening was part of God's plan of salvation. It was conceived before the world existed and revealed through God's messengers, centuries before. The particular prophecy that was being fulfilled is recorded in Isaiah 53, where, among many other predictions, the prophet declared that the coming Suffering Servant of the Lord was He who "was numbered with the transgressors" (53:12).