Deliver Us

Meg Jenista

Read: Luke 23:32-33, 39-46

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. (v. 32)

The first asks, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” The first man wants a Savior on his own terms. A Savior who lets sin go without consequence, making life easier and happier.

But the second criminal sees the truth: “We are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” The second criminal leaves the result up to Jesus with these words, “Remember me.” How you will, what you will, when you will, Jesus. Just please remember me.

The first man wants god as much of the world wants god. A god who is grandfatherly and kindly. A god who looks the other way with a wink.

The second man is willing to submit to God’s reckoning in a way that much of the world finds uncomfortable. For, by God’s reckoning, we are sinners who stand under just condemnation and what we deserve is no basis for an argument in favor of our deliverance.

The deliverance we are taught to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer begins with admission of our failure and weakness. The Heidelberg Catechism says, “By ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment” (A. 127). Without a viable plea of defense for ourselves, God declares his truth about us. But, in Jesus Christ, God declares the truth about himself. In that alone we are delivered.

—Meg Jenista

Jesus, remember me. Preserve, protect, and deliver me. For I am weak and you are my only hope of salvation. Amen.