Both men received the same sentence,
Both would serve the same penalty,
One man would live in paradise,
The other too blinded to see.
One’s heart was stonily calloused,
His sins he refused to see,
The other fully acknowledging,
Why he’d been led to Mt. Calvary.
Dragging their crosses behind them,
Gave them time to reflect on their deeds,
One man defiant and hostile,
The other aware of his needs.
But along with the two walked another,
Sentenced to die that same day,
What did he do to justify,
Them treating Him in the same way?
When they’d reached the place called Golgotha,
One thief could no longer pretend,
As their bodies were raised on the crosses,
It was certain his life would soon end.
Both men had heard the stories,
Of this carpenter from Galilee,
Who raised the dead, gave sight to the blind,
And taught of God’s great mystery.
In one it stirred up a yearning,
Of hope that endures past the grave,
The other found only anger,
And a feeling of being betrayed.
One man joined in the mocking,
“If you’re God come and set us free!”
The other studied His countenance,
His poise and His calm dignity.
In the midst of the hatred and taunting,
Jesus spoke words beyond all belief,
“Father please forgive them,”
Not in anger but chocking back grief.
At the words one man’s heart had melted,
The other stayed hardened as stone,
One entered in eyes wide open,
The other in darkness alone.
The words gave one man confidence,
To ask of Him one grand request,
“Lord remember me in your kingdom,”
“I am weary and need peace and rest.”
In the midst of the pain and anquish,
While suffering for all of our vice,
With a look of love, He said to the thief,
“Today you will see paradise.”
A Christian poem by: Mark Tinjum — February 2006