Saturday, January 27, 2018
Dismas is the name given to the "good thief" being crucified with Jesus. I suspect that he had been quite dreadful in his life of crime. One is not crucified in the Roman legal system for petty crime. Dismas more likely was a big time thief who brutalized and maybe even murdered people such that he had become notorious. What interests me about him is that he admitted his punishment fit his criminal life. "We have been condemned justly," is what he says. He may be a notoriously bad guy, but he is not a whiner or a blamer. He does not say his life is the fault of society, culture, bad government or abusive parents. Those may have been all part of his life, but he takes responsibility for his actions. This is the only way one can ever "repent" or change their life for the better. Conversion to a fuller life can never come if you say, "If only they would change." Whoever is the "they" is not about to change. The rewards come only after we admit to our side of the street. Even in a seemingly powerless situation, we can still begin to clean up our side of the street. Being crucified looks very powerless, but change is an inside job. Note that Dismas began the inside work when he was feeling quite miserable. He did not say, "I will do it tomorrow."