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One short day can change a life for ever


By Rev Gareth Burke

In 1964, the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, declared: "A week is a long time in politics." I suspect Theresa May would probably agree.

Whatever your political affiliation happens to be, and whatever your position is on the Brexit question, you will not disagree with me when I say Mrs May is having a nightmare.

Of course, Harold Wilson's statement applies not just to politics, but to just about every sphere of life. In fact, the events of one day can prove life-changing. We can rise in the morning and, by the time we go to bed, the future course of our lives could have been completely altered by the events of that day.

This happened to one of the criminals who was crucified alongside Jesus (Luke 23: 39-43). We don't know who he was or what kind of crimes he had been involved in, but to be put to death by crucifixion by the Roman authorities meant he had been guilty of some very serious offences. Many speculate he was involved in some kind of uprising against the state.

Anyway, in the morning he was nailed to a cross, and throughout that day experienced excruciating agony as his life, slowly and painfully, came to a close. We don't know exactly when, but at some point before noon he had a conversation with Jesus. This proved to be life-changing.

Having observed at close quarters something of the love and compassion of Jesus towards his enemies and others, he came to a point where he asked for forgiveness and mercy. He cried out: "Jesus, remember me when you come in to your kingdom."

Amazingly, just in the nick of time, he turned from his sin and became a Christian. Jesus heard him, received him and assured him: "Today, you will be with me in paradise."

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When you think about it, this all happened in a day. In the morning he was outside of Christ, by midday he was in Christ, and by the evening he was with Christ. Or, as someone else put it, in the morning he was in a state of nature, by noon in a state of grace and by the evening a state of glory.

What a day.

Belfast Telegraph


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