The New Story God Offers You
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
The Bible spares few details in describing what people are really like. But the surprises lie in finding out what God is like when He comes face to face with our weakness and humanity.
One of these telling stories in Scripture is about a man who was sentenced to die by gruesome crucifixion for his crimes. We’re given little detail, but by his own admission that he was fully guilty of wrong. On the day of the criminal’s death, he was nailed to a cross beside the Son of God, who had voluntarily chosen to die. The criminal listened as Jesus prayed for those killing Him, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing!” (Luke 23:34)
Something in the man’s heart was filled with awe at God’s beautiful, other-worldly love he saw in Jesus. He cried out, “We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom…Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:41-43). At that moment, it’s hard to imagine that Jesus, seeing and knowing that man’s past, said He would take the penalty of it all and offer a criminal a new ending to his story.
Today, Jesus continues to offer us a new ending to our stories. The Bible says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
Jesus takes joy in forgiving and making new every person, even the one who comes at the very last moment!