Luke 23:42
And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(42) Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.—More accurately, in Thy kingdom. There is something singularly touching in the trust implied in the form of the appeal. He asks for no special boon, no place on the right hand or on the left; no room in the King’s palace. He is content not to be forgotten, certain that if the King remember him at all, it will be with thoughts of tenderness and pity.

Luke

WORDS FROM THE CROSS

THE DYING THIEF

Luke 23:42
.

There is an old and true division of the work of Christ into three parts-prophet, priest, and king. Such a distinction manifestly exists, though it may be overestimated, or rather, the statement of it may be exaggerated, if it be supposed that separate acts of His discharge these separate functions, and that He ceases to be the one before He becomes the other. Rather it is true that all His work is prophetic, that all His work is priestly, and that His prophetic and priestly work is the exercise of His kingly authority. But still the division is a true one, and helps to set before us, clearly and definitely, the wide range of the benefits of Christ’s mission and death. It is noteworthy that these three groups round the Cross, the third of which we have to speak of now-that of the ‘daughters of Jerusalem,’ that of the deriding scribes and the indifferent soldiers, and this one of the two thieves-each presents us Christ in one of the three characters. The words that He spoke upon the Cross, with reference to others than Himself, may be gathered around, and arranged under, that threefold aspect of Christ’s work. The prophet said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, for the days are coming.’ The priest said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. ‘The king, in His sovereignty, ruled the heart of that penitent man from His Cross, and while the crown shone athwart the smoke and the agony of the death, the king ‘opened the gates of the kingdom of heaven unto all believers’ when He said, ‘This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise!’ We shall not attempt, in dealing with this incident, to paint pictures. I have a far more important thing to do than even to try to bring vividly before your minds the scene on that little hill of Calvary. It is the meaning that we are concerned with, and not the mere externals. I take it for granted, then, that we know the details:-the dying man in his agony, beginning to see dimly, as his soul closed upon earthly things, who this was-patient, loving, mighty there in His sufferings; and using his last breath to cry, ‘Lord, remember me!’-and the sufferer throned in the majesty of His meekness, and divinity of His endurance; calm, conscious, full of felt but silent power, accepting homage, bending to the penitence, loving the sinner, and flinging open the gates of the pale kingdoms into which He was to pass, with these His last words.

First, then, we see here an illustration of the Cross in its power of drawing men to itself. It is strange to think that, perhaps, at that moment the only human being who thoroughly believed in Christ was that dying robber. The disciples are all gone. The most faithful of them are recreant, denying, fleeing. A handful of women are standing there, not knowing what to think about it, stunned but loving; and alone {as I suppose}, alone of all the sons of men, the crucified malefactor was in the sunshine of faith, and could say ‘I believe!’ As everything of the future history of the world and of the Gospel is typified in the events of the Crucifixion, it was fitting that here again and at the last there should be a prophetic fulfilment of His own saying, ‘I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.’

But mark, here we have a striking instance of the universal law of the progress of the Gospel, in the two-fold effort of the contemplation of the Cross. By its foot was to be seen the derision of the scribes and the stupor of the soldiery; and now here are the two thieves-the one chiming in with the universal reproaches; and the other beholding the same event, having the same circumstances displayed before him, and they influence him thus. Brethren, it is just the history of the Gospel wherever it goes. It is its history now, and among us. The Gospel is preached equally to every man. The same message comes to us all, offering us the same terms. Christ stands before each of us in the same attitude. And what is the consequence? A parting of the whole mass of us, some to one side and some to the other. So, when you take a magnet, and hold it to an indiscriminate heap of metal filings, it will gather out all the iron, and leave behind all the rest. ‘I, if I be lifted up,’ said He, ‘will draw all men unto Me.’ The attractive power will go out over the whole race of His brethren; but from some there will be no response. In some hearts there will be no yielding to the attraction. Some will remain rooted, obstinate, steadfast in their place; and to some the lightest word will be mighty enough to stir all the slumbering pulses of their sin-ridden hearts, and to bring them, broken and penitent, for mercy to His feet. To the one He is ‘a savour of life unto life, and to the other a savour of death unto death.’ The broadest doctrine of the universal adaptation, and the universal intention too, of the Gospel, as the ‘power of God unto salvation,’ contains hidden in its depths this undeniable fact, that, be the cause what it may {and as I believe, the cause lies with us, and is our fault} this separating, judging effect follows from all faithful preaching of Christ’s words. He came to judge the world, ‘that they which see not’ {as He Himself said} ‘might see, and they which see might be made blind,’ And on the Cross that process went on in two men, alike in necessity, alike in criminality, alike in this, that Death’s icy finger was just being laid upon their heart, to stop all the flow of its wild blood and passion, but different in this, that the one of them turned himself, by God’s grace, and laid hold on the Gospel that was offered to him, and the other turned himself away, and derided, and died.

And now, there is another consideration. If we look at this man, this penitent thief, and contrast him, his previous history, and his present feelings, with the people that stood around, and rejected and scoffed, we get some light as to the sort of thing that unfits men for perceiving and accepting the Gospel when it is offered to them. Remember the other classes of persons who were there. There were Roman soldiers, with very partial knowledge of what they were doing, and whose only feeling was that of entire indifference; and there were Jewish Rabbis, Pharisees, Priests, and people, who knew a little more of what they were doing, and whose feeling was derision and scorn. Now, if we mark the ordinary scriptural representation, especially as to the last class, we cannot help seeing that there comes out this principle:-The thing of all others that unfits men for the reception of Christ as a Saviour, and for the simple reliance on His atoning blood and divine mercy, is not gross, long profligacy, and outward, vehement transgression; but it is self-complacency, clean, fatal self-righteousness and self-sufficiency.

Why was it that Scribes and Pharisees turned away from Him? For three reasons. Because of their pride of wisdom. ‘We are the men who know all about Moses and the traditions of the elders; we judge this new phenomenon not by the question, How does it come to our consciences, and how does it appeal to our hearts? but we judge it by the question, How does it fit our Rabbinical learning and subtle casuistical laws? We are the Priests and the Scribes; and the people that know not the law, they may accept a thing that only appeals to the common human heart, but for us, in our intellectual superiority, living remote from the common wants of the lower class, not needing a rough outward Gospel of that sort, we can do without such a thing, and we reject it.’ They turned away from the Cross, and their hatred darkened into derision, and their menaces ended in a crucifixion, not merely because of a pride of wisdom, but because of a complacent self-righteousness that knew nothing of the fact of sin, that never had learned to believe itself to be full of evil, that had got so wrapped up in ceremonies as to have lost the life; that had degraded the divine law of God, with all its lightning splendours, and awful power, into a matter of ‘mint and anise and cummin.’ They turned away for a third reason. Religion had become to them a mere set of traditional dogmas, to think accurately or to reason clearly about which was all that was needful. Worship having become ceremonial, and morality having become casuistry, and religion having become theology, the men were as hard as a nether millstone, and there was nothing to be done with them until these three crusts were peeled off the heart, and, close and burning, the naked heart and the naked truth of God came into contact.

Brethren, change the name, and the story is true about us. God forbid that I should deny that every form of gross, sensual immorality, ‘hardens all within’ {as one poor victim of it said}, ‘and petrifies the feeling.’ God forbid that I should seem to be speaking slightingly of the exceeding sinfulness of such sin, or to be pouring contempt upon the laws of common morality. Do not misapprehend me so. Still it is not sin in its outward forms that makes the worst impediment between a man and the Cross, but it is sin plus self-righteousness which makes the insurmountable obstacle to all faith and repentance. And oh! in our days, when passion is tamed down by so many bonds and chains; when the power of society lies upon all of us, prescribing our path, and keeping most of us from vice, partly because we are not tempted, and partly because we have been brought up like some young trees behind a wall, within the fence of decent customs and respectable manners,-we have far more need to tell orderly, respectable moral men-’My brother, that thing that you have is worth nothing, as settling your position before God’; than to stand up and thunder about crimes which half of us never heard of, and perhaps only an infinitesimal percentage of us have ever committed. All sin separates from God, but the thing that makes the separation permanent is not the sin, but the ignorance of the sin. Self-righteousness, aye, and pride of wisdom, they-they have perverted many a nature, many a young man’s glowing spirit, and have turned him away from the Gospel. If there be a man here who is looking at the simple message of peace and pardon and purity through Christ, and is saying to himself, Yes; it may fit the common class of minds that require outward signs and symbols, and must pin their faith to forms; but for me with my culture, for me with my spiritual tendencies, for me with my new lights, I do not want any objective redemption; I do not want anything to convince me of a divine love, and I do not need any crucified Saviour to preach to me that God is merciful!-this incident before us has a very solemn lesson in it for him. And if there be a man here who is living a life of surface blamelessness, it has as solemn a lesson for him. Look at the Scribe, and look at the Pharisee-religious men in their way, wise men in their way, decent and respectable men in their way; and look at that poor thief that had been caught in the wilderness amongst the caves and dens, and had been brought red-handed with blood upon his sword, and guilt in his heart, and nailed up there in the short and summary process of a Roman jurisprudence;-and think that Scribe, and Pharisee, and Priest, saw nothing in Christ; and that the poor profligate wretch saw this in Him,-innocence that showed heavenly against his diabolical blackness; and his heart stirred, and he laid hold of Him in the stress of his mighty agony-as a drowning man catches at anything that protrudes from the bank; and he held and shook it, and the thing was fast, and he was safe! Not transgression shuts a man out from mercy. Transgression, which belongs to us all, makes us subjects for the mercy; but it is pride, self-righteousness, trust in ourselves, which ‘bars the gates of mercy on mankind’; and the men that are condemned are condemned not only because they have transgressed the commandments of God, but ‘this is the condemnation, that light came into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’

And then {and but a word} we see here, too, the elements of which acceptable faith consists. One does not exactly know by what steps or through what process this poor dying thief passed, which issued in faith-whether it was an impression from Christ’s presence, whether it was that he had ever heard anything about Him before, or whether it was only that the wisdom which dwells with death was beginning to clear his eyes as life ebbed away. But however he came to the conviction, mark what it was that he believed and expressed,-I am a sinful man; all punishment that comes down upon me is richly deserved: This man is pure and righteous; ‘Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom!’ That is all-that is all. That is the thing that saves a man. How much he did know-whether he knew all the depth of what he was saying, when he said ‘Lord!’ is a question that we cannot answer; whether he understood what the ‘kingdom’ was that he was expecting, is a question that we cannot solve; but this is clear-the intellectual part of faith may be dark and doubtful, but the moral and emotional part of it is manifest and plain. There was, ‘I am nothing-Thou art everything: I bring myself and my emptiness unto Thy great fullness: fill it and make me blessed!’ Faith has that. Faith has in it repentance-repentance has in it faith too. Faith has in it the recognition of the certainty and the justice of a judgment that is coming down crashing upon every human head; and then from the midst of these fears, and sorrows, and the tempest of that great darkness, there rises up in the night of terrors, the shining of one perhaps pale, quivering, distant, but divinely given hope, ‘My Saviour! My Saviour! He is righteous: He has died-He lives! I will stay no longer; I will cast myself upon Him!’ Once more-this incident reminds us not only of the attractive power of the Cross, but of the prophetic power of the Cross. We have here the Cross as pointing to and foretelling the Kingdom. Pointing out, and foretelling: that is to say, of course, and only, if we accept the scriptural statement of what these sufferings were, the Person that endured them, and the meaning of their being endured. But the only thing I would dwell upon here, is, that when we think of Christ as dying for us, we are never to separate it from that other solemn and future coming of which this poor robber catches a glimpse. They crowned Him with thorns, and they gave Him a reed for His sceptre. That mockery, so natural to the strong practical Romans in dealing with one whom they thought a harmless enthusiast, was a symbol which they who did it little dreamed of. The crown of thorns proclaims a sovereignty founded on sufferings. The sceptre of feeble reed speaks of power wielded in gentleness. The Cross leads to the crown. The brow that was pierced by the sharp acanthus wreath, therefore wears the diadem of the universe. The hand that passively held the mockery of the worthless, pithless reed, therefore rules the princes of the earth with the rod of iron. He who was lifted up to the Cross, was, by that very act, lifted up to be a Ruler and Commander to the peoples. For the death of the Cross God hath highly exalted Him to be a Prince and a Saviour. The way to glory for Him, the power by which He wields the kingdom of the world, is precisely through the suffering. And therefore, whensoever there arises before us the image of the one, oh! let there rise before us likewise the image of the other. The Cross links on to the kingdom-the kingdom lights up the Cross. My brother, the Saviour comes-the Saviour comes a King. The Saviour that comes a King is the Saviour that has been here and was crucified. The kingdom that He establishes is all full of blessing, and love, and gentleness; and to us {if we will unite the thoughts of Cross and Crown} there is opened up not only the possibility of having boldness before Him in the day of judgment, but there is opened up this likewise-the certainty that He ‘shall receive of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.’ Oh, remember that as certain as the historical fact-He died on Calvary; so certain is the prophetic fact-He shall reign, and you and I will stand there! I durst not touch that subject. Take it into your own hearts; and think about it-a kingdom, a judgment-seat, a crown, a gathered universe; separation, decision, execution of the sentence. And oh! ask yourselves, ‘When that gentle eye, with lightning in its depths, falls upon me, individualises me, summons out me to its bar-how shall I stand?’ ‘Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness before Him in the day of judgment,’ ‘Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.’

Finally. Here is the Cross as revealing and opening the true Paradise.-’This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.’ We have no concern at present with the many subtle inferences as to the state of the dead, and as to the condition of our Lord’s human spirit before the Resurrection, which have been drawn from these words. To me they do seem fairly to bear the broad and single conclusion that the spirits of the saved do enter at death into a state of conscious presence with their Saviour, and therefore of joy and felicity. But beyond this we have no firm ground for going. It is of more practical worth to note that the penitent’s vague prayer is answered, and over-answered. He asks, ‘When Thou comest’-whensoever that may be-’remember me.’ ‘I shall stand afar off; do not let me be utterly forgotten.’ Christ answers-’Remember thee! thou shalt be with Me, close to My side. Remember thee when I come!-this day shalt thou be with Me.’

And what a contrast that is-the conscious blessedness rushing in close upon the heels of the momentary darkness of death. At the one moment there hangs the thief writhing in mortal agony; the wild shouts of the fierce mob at his feet are growing faint upon his ear; the city spread out at his feet, and all the familiar sights of earth are growing dim to his filmy eye. The soldier’s spear comes, the legs are broken, and in an instant there hangs a relaxed corpse; and the spirit, the spirit-is where? Ah! how far away; released from all its sin and its sore agony, struggling up at once into such strange divine enlargement, a new star swimming into the firmament of heaven, a new face before the throne of God, another sinner redeemed from earth! The conscious immediate blessedness of the departed-be he what he may, be his life whatsoever it may have been-who at last, dark, sinful, standing with one foot on the verge of eternity, and poising himself for the flight, flings himself into the arms of Christ-the everlasting blessedness, the Christ-presence and the Christ-gladness, that is the message that the robber leaves to us from his cross. Paradise is opened to us again. The Cross is the true ‘tree of life.’ The flaming cherubim, and the sword that turneth every way, are gone, and the broad road into the city, the Paradise of God, with all its beauties and all its peaceful joy-a better Paradise, ‘a statelier Eden,’ than that which we have lost, is flung open to us for ever.

Do not trust a death-bed repentance, my brother. I have stood by many a death-bed, and few indeed have they been where I could have believed that the man was in a condition physically {to say nothing of anything else} clearly to see and grasp the message of the Gospel. There is no limit to the mercy. I know that God’s mercy is boundless. I know that ‘whilst there is life there is hope.’ I know that a man, going-swept down that great Niagara-if, before his little skiff tilts over into the awful rapids, he can make one great bound with all his strength, and reach the solid ground-I know he may be saved. It is an awful risk to run. A moment’s miscalculation, and skiff and voyager alike are whelming in the green chaos below, and come up mangled into nothing, far away down yonder upon the white turbulent foam. ‘One was saved upon the Cross,’ as the old divines used to tell us, ‘that none might despair; and only one, that none might presume.’ ‘Now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation!’Luke 23:42. And he said, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom — Such was the prayer of a dying sinner to a dying Saviour. And as in his confession he discovered deep repentance toward God, so in this petition he discovered strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He owns him to be the Lord, and to have a kingdom, and that he was going to that kingdom: that he should have authority in it, and that those should be happy whom he favoured; to believe and confess which was a great thing at that time, when Christ was in the depth of disgrace, deserted by his own disciples, reviled by his own nation, suffering as an impostor, and not delivered by his Father! Verily, we have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel! He evidently entertained an incomparably more rational and exalted notion of the Messiah’s kingdom than the disciples themselves: for while they expected nothing but a secular empire, he gave evidence that he acknowledged Christ’s spiritual dominion, and not only believed him to be a king, but such a king as, after he was dead, could profit the dead; for, at the very time that Jesus was dying on the cross, he begged to be remembered by him when he came into his kingdom. His petition discovers also great modesty, humility, and consciousness of his own demerits. He begs only to be remembered, and refers it to Christ in what way to remember him. It is a request like that of Joseph to the chief butler, Think on me, Genesis 40:14, and it succeeded better; the chief butler forgot Joseph, but Christ remembered this thief. Observe, reader, to be remembered by Christ, now he is in his kingdom, is what we should earnestly desire and pray for: and it will be enough to secure our welfare living and dying.23:32-43 As soon as Christ was fastened to the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him. The great thing he died to purchase and procure for us, is the forgiveness of sin. This he prays for. Jesus was crucified between two thieves; in them were shown the different effects the cross of Christ would have upon the children of men in the preaching the gospel. One malefactor was hardened to the last. No troubles of themselves will change a wicked heart. The other was softened at the last: he was snatched as a brand out of the burning, and made a monument of Divine mercy. This gives no encouragement to any to put off repentance to their death-beds, or to hope that they shall then find mercy. It is certain that true repentance is never too late; but it is as certain that late repentance is seldom true. None can be sure they shall have time to repent at death, but every man may be sure he cannot have the advantages this penitent thief had. We shall see the case to be singular, if we observe the uncommon effects of God's grace upon this man. He reproved the other for railing on Christ. He owned that he deserved what was done to him. He believed Jesus to have suffered wrongfully. Observe his faith in this prayer. Christ was in the depth of disgrace, suffering as a deceiver, and not delivered by his Father. He made this profession before the wonders were displayed which put honour on Christ's sufferings, and startled the centurion. He believed in a life to come, and desired to be happy in that life; not like the other thief, to be only saved from the cross. Observe his humility in this prayer. All his request is, Lord, remember me; quite referring it to Jesus in what way to remember him. Thus he was humbled in true repentance, and he brought forth all the fruits for repentance his circumstances would admit. Christ upon the cross, is gracious like Christ upon the throne. Though he was in the greatest struggle and agony, yet he had pity for a poor penitent. By this act of grace we are to understand that Jesus Christ died to open the kingdom of heaven to all penitent, obedient believers. It is a single instance in Scripture; it should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair of themselves; but lest it should be abused, it is contrasted with the awful state of the other thief, who died hardened in unbelief, though a crucified Saviour was so near him. Be sure that in general men die as they live.Remember me - This is a phrase praying for favor, or asking him to grant him an "interest" in his kingdom, or to acknowledge him as one of his followers. It implied that he believed that Jesus was what he claimed to be - the Messiah; that, though he was dying with them, yet he would set up his kingdom; and that he had full power to bless him, though about to expire. It is possible that this man might have heard him preach before his crucifixion, and have learned there the nature of his kingdom; or it may have been that while on the cross Jesus had taken occasion to acquaint them with the nature of his kingdom. While he might have been doing this, one of the malefactors may have continued to rail on him while the other became truly penitent. Such a result of preaching the gospel would not have been unlike what has often occurred since, where, while the gospel has been proclaimed, one has been "taken and another left;" one has been melted to repentance, another has been more hardened in guilt. The promise which follows shows that this prayer was answered. This was a case of repentance in the last hour, the trying hour of death; and it has been remarked that one was brought to repentance there, to show that no one should "despair" on a dying bed; and "but" one, that none should be presumptuous and delay repentance to that awful moment.

When thou comest ... - It is impossible now to fix the precise idea which this robber had of Christ's coming. Whether it was that he expected that he would rise from the dead, as some of the Jews supposed the Messiah would; or whether he referred to the day of judgment; or whether to an immediate translation to his kingdom in the heavens, we cannot tell. All that we know is, that he fully believed him to be the Messiah, and that he desired to obtain an interest in that kingdom which he knew he would establish.

42. said unto Jesus, &c.—Observe here (1) The "kingdom" referred to was one beyond the grave; for it is inconceivable that he should have expected Him to come down from the cross to erect any temporal kingdom. (2) This he calls Christ's own (Thy) kingdom. (3) As such, he sees in Christ the absolute right to dispose of that kingdom to whom He pleased. (4) He does not presume to ask a place in that kingdom, though that is what he means, but with a humility quite affecting, just says, "Lord, remember me when," &c. Yet was there mighty faith in that word. If Christ will but "think upon him" (Ne 5:19), at that august moment when He "cometh into His kingdom," it will do. "Only assure me that then Thou wilt not forget such a wretch as I, that once hung by Thy side, and I am content." Now contrast with this bright act of faith the darkness even of the apostles' minds, who could hardly be got to believe that their Master would die at all, who now were almost despairing of Him, and who when dead had almost buried their hopes in His grave. Consider, too, the man's previous disadvantages and bad life. And then mark how his faith comes out—not in protestations, "Lord, I cannot doubt, I am firmly persuaded that Thou art Lord of a kingdom, that death cannot disannul Thy title nor impede the assumption of it in due time," &c.—but as having no shadow of doubt, and rising above it as a question altogether, he just says, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest," &c. Was ever faith like this exhibited upon earth? It looks as if the brightest crown had been reserved for the Saviour's head at His darkest moment! See Poole on "Luke 23:34" And he said unto Jesus, Lord,.... Acknowledging him to be the Messiah, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; the Lord of all, and especially of his church and people, and his own Lord. So the Syriac and Persic versions read, "my Lord": however, he said this by the Spirit of God, who enlightened his understanding, and wrought faith in him to believe in Christ; see 1 Corinthians 12:3 "remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom"; or rather in thy kingdom, as in Matthew 16:28 for this man had not only faith in the kingdom of Christ, as being of a spiritual nature, and not of this world, and not coming with outward pomp and observation; in which respect his faith exceeded that of the apostles themselves, who were looking for, and expecting a temporal kingdom; and he not only was without all doubt, or scruple, about Christ's entering into his kingdom and glory after death, but he had knowledge of, and faith in his second coming, when his glorious kingdom should appear, or his kingdom appear in glory; and when he desired he might be remembered by him, have favour shown him, and he share in the glories and happiness of it. This was great faith indeed to be exercised on Christ at such a time as this, when he was under the greatest reproach and ignominy; while he was insulted and derided by all sorts of people; and when he was forsaken by his own apostles, and was suffering a shameful punishment, and now dying. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 23:42. καὶ ἔλεγεν· Ἰησοῦ, and he said: Jesus! not to Jesus as T. R. signifies.—ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σ.: when Thou comest in Thy kingdom = when Thou comest as King to earth again, the petition meaning: may I be among those whom Thou shalt raise from the dead to share its joys! The reading of [200] [201], εἰς τὴν β. σ., might point to an immediate entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, the prayer meaning: may I go there to be with Thee when I die!

[200] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[201] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.42. Jesus, Lord] Rather, Oh, Jesus; the “Lord” is omitted in א, B, C, L. He may well have been encouraged by having heard the prayer of Jesus for His murderers, Luke 23:34. “Oravit misericordia ut oraret miseria.” Aug.

Lord, remember me] A truly humble prayer for a far-off remembrance. He calls Him Lord whom the very Apostles had left, and recognises Him as a King who even when dead could benefit the dead. Even Apostles might have learnt from him. (Bengel.)

into thy kingdom] Rather, in thy kingdom. We must not lose sight of the faith which can alone have dictated this intense appeal to One who hung mute upon the Cross amid universal derision.Luke 23:42. Μνήσθητι, remember) He makes request modestly. ‘Remembrance’ extends to a far distant period (i.e. he means that the remembrance which he craves may hold good in a time yet to come, and a far way off). A most choice prayer.—Κύριε, Lord) He publicly addresses by the appellation, Lord, Him whom His own disciples themselves had abandoned.—ἔλθῃς, when thou shalt have come) hereafter, viz. from heaven. The antithesis to this is Jesus’ expression in Luke 23:43, To-day,—ἐν τῇσου) in Thy kingdom. He acknowledges Him as King, and a King of such a sort as can, though dead, benefit the dead. Not even the apostles at that time entertained so pure sentiments concerning the kingdom of Christ (without mixture of the alloy of notions concerning a temporal kingdom then).—βασιλείᾳ, kingdom) Frequent mention of His Kingship and kingdom had preceded. See Luke 23:2-3; Luke 23:37-38. Faith accepts in serious earnest the truth, which has been distorted and perverted into a subject of sneering by the Lord’s adversaries.Verse 42. - And he said unto Jesus. Lord, remember me when thou oomest into thy kingdom. The majority of the older authorities omit "Lord." The translation should run thus: And he said, Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom - in, not into. The penitent looked forward to the dying Jesus coming again in (arrayed in) his kingly dignity, surrounded with his power and glory. Very touching is this confidence of the dying in the Dying One who was hanging by his side, his last garment taken from him; very striking is this trust of the poor penitent, that the forsaken Lord will one day appear again as King in his glory. He, and he alone, on that dread day read aright the superscription which mocking Pilate had fixed above the cross, "This is the King of the Jews." He read "with Divine clearsightedness in this deepest night" (Krum-reacher). He asks for no special place in that kingdom whose advent he sees clearly approaching; he only asks the King not to forget him then. On this knowledge of the thief concerning the second advent of Christ, Meyer well writes, "The thief must have become acquainted with the predictions of Jesus concerning his coming, which may very easily have been the case at Jerusalem, and does not directly presuppose any instructions on the part of Jesus; although he may also have heard him himself, and still remembered what he heard. The extraordinary character of his painful position in the very face of death produced as a consequence an extraordinary action of firm faith in those predictions." Into thy kingdom

Some texts read for εἰς, into, ἐν, in. So Rev. In that case we must understand, "in thy kingly glory."

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Luke 23:41
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