You are currently viewing The Great Ask
  • Post published:April 1, 2024

Thievery, whether petty theft or grand larceny, is the simple act of taking something that does not belong to you away from the one to whom it belongs. We must be born with a thievery gene for wherever two or three toddlers are gathered together, one of them will take the toy of another.

There is no backstory on the two thieves that flanked Jesus. Of the four gospels, Matthew and John refer to the thieves in a passing reference. Mark does not even mention them, but Luke gives them enough coverage to show a distinction between the two.

One can only imagine what kind of life these thieves might have had leading up to their shared moment on either side of the Song of God suspended between heaven and earth. Were these two related…brothers or cousins? Did they work as a team? Were they strangers who just happened to be plucked from different cells and lead away to Golgotha? What had they stolen? How had they been caught? Were they seasoned professionals with a long history of scores or first timers?

Whether they were relatives, cohorts in crimes, been in the thieving business for a few days or years, or Jerusalem’s dumbest criminals, they both knew on this day their number was up. Early in the morning both thieves “heap insults” on Jesus, but as the day wore on, one thief has a change of heart. His insults turn into the biggest ask of his life. “Remember me.”

This thief wanted the Son of God to remember him. He went straight to the top with his request bypassing all intermediaries. He had nothing to offer in exchange. He was naked and dying. He was at his most vulnerable and he still asked to be remembered.

We all want to be remembered for our best moments. This thief asked to be remembered at his worst moment. He was fully aware of his own insignificance. Fully aware of the cruelty of the world’s response to his choices in life. And with his remaining gasps, fully aware that the one person who could answer his question with a positive response was right beside to him.

The plea was “remember me.” The answer was “yes.” The greatest answer ever given to the greatest ask.