a theif on the cross: restoring my vision of grace

There is a student that knows she has a test coming up and she is a good student and a hard worker so she studies ahead of time. She is prepared and goes to class the day of the test and she walks in a the other students in the classroom are doing some last minute cramming before the teacher comes in. the teacher comes in and says I hope all of you are ready because we have a test today that will determine whether you pass or fail the class, I hope you are all prepared. The professor instructs the class to not turn over the test until after all of the test are passed out so it is fair to everyone. After a few minutes he passes all of them out and while this is happening the girl is very confident that she is going to do well because she was a dedicated hard worker that was diligent with her work, so she is expecting to do well on the test. When everybody received the test the professor told the class to flip over the test and on the bottom of the test the girl read “ all the answers are filled in correctly for you, you have received 100 percent on the test, and all the work you have done is good in my eyes” all the students had the same thing written on the bottom of their test and they all looked up at the professor with astonishment and the professor said to them “ your professor has already done the work for you, there is no extra credit needed, no answer that is going to be more correct than the ones that are already on your answer sheet and no matter the amount of work you have done you will all have the same grade” the students were overfilled with joy
This past weekend this story was told to me and really helped restore my vision of grace. I come from a background where the word grace is not commonly used and is hardly lived out. You can imagine coming to understand grace may take a bit of time for me. I think I had sort of a break through this weekend if that is even possible with grace, but it was really helpful in clarifying what love is. Grace is one of those things that I think we will never fully know and experience. We may say we have experienced it or that we know what it is, but I question if we can say those things in their full capacity.
I have another story it is about 3 people being put to death for something they did. depending on what side you are on you would argue that some were innocent or guilty. All of them were revolutionaries in their own regard and as they were all there awaiting their death two of the persecuted convicts said something to the other convicted person. They each said something different. Person 1 had mocked person 3 because he thought he had enough power and strength to get himself free and out of the dire situation and person 2 said to person 3 remember me. 1 was mocking and 2 was pleading for help. person 3 had said to person 2 you will be remembered and because of the plead person 2 was accepted for eternity. If you could not tell already this is the story of Jesus on the cross. I do not want the focus to be on Jesus, though.
The other two people being put to death had two different responses in their last words, in the place where they could do no more in their life or try any harder to face their fate after their time on earth. each of them knowing this and from what is known they understood who Jesus was, but yet both of their responses were different. When a sacrifice was made for the sake of restoration one person was ignored and the other was brought into paradise. This man was convicted of a crime and in the last hours of his life he was accepted into eternal life. some may say he got the easy way, but I say he received grace.
This grace that is given when it is not deserved is what I hope my vision can be restored to someday. If I am honest I do not see grace fully in that way yet. This grace shows me that I am fully justified and thought about. All the prayer rituals and bible studies are just add one’s in know the restorer in a deeper way. Just like the girl that studied for the test, she had received the same grade that the students had received that were studying for the test right before class. For her benefit she had a greater knowledge of each component that the teacher was going to test her on that allowed her to see into the core of the teacher’s purpose. Just like the students that did not study or the man being put to death next to Jesus we need to recognize that we do not deserve what was done for us and even when we are staring death in its face we can call out for help and ask to be remembered. You have the choice to accept or deny the restorer. Seeing grace from the vantage point of these two stories has really helped my comprehension of grace and refocused my vision on returning to my heart to its original state.
When you are faced with the test what are you going to do?

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