16.4.11

The Repentant thief

This is a monologue I gave at church last night.  Our church is doing a presentation based upon the three crosses.  Last week, Daemon gave a presentation as the unrepentant thief.  And last night, I was the repentant one.  I thought I would share it with you! 
(Note: there is some swearing in this.  This is not to be offensive or shocking.  Rather, it was to show that we do not change immediately when we accept Christ.  We are still a W.I.P. (work in progress).  We strive to become as Christ, but this is a life-long goal, rather than an immediate change.)
(Final Note: The song used was Wonderwall.  It was the version from Ryan Adams.)

Sheva Shekel!  Ha!  Sheva Shekel.  That’s, uh, seven shekels to those of you not from around here.  You know, seven Shekels isn’t all that bad!  It’ll get you a decent room for the night, a few good meals, even a bit of companionship.  Or throw it all together and you can get yourself a decent mule and some new clothes!  Nothing wrong with some good transportation and some new threads, right?...


You know, I remember a Rabbi once asking me, “How much are you worth?”  When I heard that question, I always wanted to answer it in a very esoterical way: My value is the friends that I have made. It’s my contribution to society.  It’s the good deeds I have done, and the people I have helped!  Yeah… that’s all a load of crap, isn’t it?  Right now, I know exactly what my life is worth.  And how do I know that?  Because when I was condemned to death for stealing from my fellow man… it was all because I took from him: Seven Shekels.  That’s why I am hanging on this cross, about to die.  Sheva.  Shekel.

You know, I would love to tell you how this isn’t my fault.  I’d love to tell you that my Abba, my daddy, used to beat me.  I’d like to blame the Romans for screwing up the economy, giving me no choice but to steal.  I’d love to blame bad governmental decisions, the horrible school I went to, my water was spiked, I was having a bad hair day…  I’d love to make any excuse I could right now to get off the cross, but not a damn thing I can say is going to make any difference to my fate.  Besides, all of that would be a lie anyways.

And when you are about to die, when you can count the hours left on a single hand, suddenly the lies and the reputation and all of the selfish nonsense just don’t matter any more.  Twenty-four hours ago, I would have done anything, said anything, to save my life and get me off of this cross.  After all, lying is my second greatest skill.  But at this point, does it matter?  Everyone knows why I’m hanging here.  I have nothing left to protect, nothing left to defend, nothing left to lose.  So, I will defend the one thing that is left, the one thing I never cared about before: I will defend the truth.

And here's the truth: Do you really want to know why I am here?  Do you really want to know what brought me to the cross?  Simple: I made a bad choice. That's right: I made a choice:  I chose to steal, chose to lie, I chose convenience over honesty. I chose wrong over right.  I am hanging here not because the Romans finally caught me, caught us.  I am here because I chose the wrong path. This moment, this very moment in time? I own this.  And that is why this Jackass on the other side has me so angry!  He was right there with me when I got caught, his own hand in someone else’s pocket!  He’s as low and as dirty as I am.  And just like me, he knows innocence when he sees it.  After all, in our line of work, it’s so rare that one comes across true innocence.  So when you see it, it truly stands out from everything else.  And yet… and yet he can look into That Man’s eyes and mock him?  He begs to be saved, demands this Man save himself, and yet he has done NOTHING to deserve to be saved?  How dare he!

How can he look into those eyes, and ridicule this man?  You only have to see Him, I mean really see Him, to know that this is true innocence.  There is such love in His eyes.  The world mocks Him, His own men betray Him…  And yet, he continues to look on them with love.  There is no self-righteousness in His eyes, no hatred, no disdain.  Just concern and care.  They criticize him, spit on Him, slander him... and He begs His Abba, His Father, to forgive them.

So I asked him, “Do you even fear God?  You’re here for the same reason I am!  We deserve exactly what we are getting.  Every nail, every agony.  We brought it on ourselves.  But you know as well as I do that this man is innocent!”  The crowd says this man claims to be the Messiah.  I look at Him, and if he says He’s the Messiah, then He is.  They claim he calls Himself the Son of God.  Well if that's true, then I will praise Him and worship at his feet!

God, I know I don’t deserve your mercy.  I’ve broken every law you set.  I used feast days as an excuse to rob and hurt your people.  I laughed at the good family you sent into my life, and wasted the time you gave me!  God, I am so sorry!  Please Lord, don’t let the people I suffer because of what I have done.  Please bless them, Lord. Please heal my victims from the scars my actions have inflicted!  I can’t believe that I wasted my life, only to find such love as I prepare to take my last breath.  My new home is soon to be hell, and I get that.  So as you return to your home, I only ask you Lord: please don’t forget me.  Just think of me one last time.  But then I guess that even that I don't deserve.

I never expected a response.  I knew that even that morsel of grace was more than my actions deserved.  But instead, He tells me that I will so be with Him in paradise!  Paradise? I don’t deserve paradise. Don’t you understand what I have done?  Can’t you see the people that I have hurt?  God, I am not a Saint.  But… I look into your eyes, and I know that you are serious… You really have forgiven me, haven't you?  Why God, Why?  Why show such mercy to me?  Why forgive someone so low on life’s totem pole?  Why me, Lord?

Because you love me?  Are you here because you see more value in me than the mere Sheva Shekel I sold my life for? Oh God, I have never seen such love for someone as unloveable as me! Regardless of my deeds, good or bad, I just wanted that unconditional love. And here you are, giving that to me!  Lord, (CUE SONG) you ARE the Christ.

I’m ready, Lord.  I can feel my breathing getting harder, my eyes getting heavy. I should be afraid right now, but I’m OK. I’m OK…

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