Horror beyond words. His final hours of human life came on what people call Good Friday. Spikes hammered through his flesh secured him to a wooden cross that was then lifted up and slammed into the ground. His own weight made every breath excruciating. His mind screamed with the torment of rejection and imminent death. Hecklers and soldiers mocked. Some said he deserved every bit of it. After all, he was a thief. As he looked to his side, there was Jesus, the Son of God, experiencing the same fate.
“Lord, remember me when you enter your Kingdom”, the man managed to utter. What must he have thought when he heard the reply? “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”
There can be no greater extremes than the agony of crucifixion and the bliss of paradise, yet that’s what this man experienced. In the deepest, darkest place there is extreme hope. Fulfillment may not come in this lifetime, but the road doesn’t end here. And that’s what makes Friday, and every day, a little better – maybe even good.