The Pain That Made Jesus Cry

Paul Luckett | - The Pain That Made Jesus Cry


Being falsely arrested¹:


Being mocked and beaten by men in the temple²:


Being brutally scourged by Pilate³:


Being mocked and beaten again by Roman soldiers who pressed a crown of thorns into the flesh of His brow⁴:


Being forced to drag the beam of His cross, weighing upwards of 175 lbs (79kg), for more than 650 yards (600m)⁵:


Being nailed to a cross⁶:


Isaiah spoke rightly of Him in Isaiah 53:7 that “He was as a lamb led to the slaughter,” “He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He opened not His mouth”.


When Jesus became sin⁷, resulting in His utter separation from God:

Then, He cried out,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”⁸

Because absolute separation from God was hell.

Do not let evil men and false prophets deceive you.


It is utter separation from God.

I can attest to this to some degree, having known life far from God, remembering the deep dredges of emptiness, restlessness and being surrounded by people but utterly alone.

This is what Jesus saved me from.

This is what Jesus suffered to save us from: separation from God.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
— Ephesians 2:13

Now, having experienced eternal life in God, I am whole, full and overflowing. Whenever I feel any distance from Him, it is torment and I die a little.

God is my life, and there is nothing better than being with Him.

Now, all I want is to have Him more, which He gifts **today** through His Holy Spirit and sanctification, thereby increasing my capacity to share love: Him, with my growing family in Jesus Christ.

But one day, my joy will be made full: I shall see God. I shall see for myself and My eyes shall behold, and not another. Oh, how my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)

I joyously look forward to that day where I will enjoy Him without limitation.

I do not preach to you fear of a hell with demons and horrors.

I preach salvation from a hell of being without God right now and from the prospect of such a horrible state for eternity.

We all currently live in an age of common grace: hope.

Hope that we can know God.

Hope that God provides.

He desires to be with us.
He desires that none should perish.
He is not far from any of us.

So close, yet so far away because without means to connect, God might as well be in a different universe.

But, God has provided the means. He has provided The Way and The Door in Jesus Christ.

Jesus went to great lengths to do His Father’s will: that we may be together with Him.

Hear Him.

Believe Him.

And, be saved from separation from God.

¹ Matthew 26:55
² Matthew 26:67-68
³ John 19:1
⁴ Mark 15:17-20
⁵ John 19:17
⁶ Luke 23:34
⁷ 2 Corinthians 5:21
⁸ Mark 15:34

The Thief On The Cross And What It Really Means To Be Saved

Paul Luckett | - The Thief On The Cross And What It Really Means To Be Saved

I am so thankful for the cross because religious people try to complicate salvation and create hoops for people to jump through, but the cross demonstrates the simplicity of Christ.

At the cross we find astonishingly simple clarity.

Namely, the salvation of the thief on the cross, where Jesus saves a convicted sinner in his dying moments.

There is no time for religion, no perfectly worded expression of faith, no baptism, no works, no apparent fruit in that moment.

Yet, the thief was saved.

All of our theology has to square with this fact.

I draw many things from it but the one that’s heaviest on my heart right now is grace.

What’s displayed gloriously in the interaction between Jesus and the dying thief is grace.

Not grace in the sense of leniency or merely benevolence, but grace in the sense of the sovereign, unmerited, unassisted work of God.

God does it all.

The thief was mocking Jesus along with the crowd that was crucifying Jesus and him! But, at some point something changed.

I believe what Jesus described to Nicodemus in John 3:8 happened here,
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

I believe the Holy Spirit gave the thief ears to hear and eyes to see and at that moment he was allowed to see Who was hanging next to him.

Above Jesus’s head was written, “King of the Jews” (John 19:21) but the thief was allowed to see that He was not just an earthly king, He was the King of a Kingdom not of this world –a kingdom where the thief wanted to be.

“Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.'” -Luke 23:42

And Jesus responds,
“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
-Luke 23:43

God does it all.

We like the thief are dying.

Sin is the disease that’s killing us.

We were without hope until Hope was revealed –hope established before the world was.

God had the Cure.
He promised the Cure.
He showed us the formula of the Cure (but even with that we could not grasp it).
He gave us the ability to receive (perceive) the Cure.
He gave us the Cure.
He is the Cure.
He heals us through the Cure.
The Cure is Jesus Christ.


All the thief did was not reject it.

I feel led to take a moment and ask why would he [reject it]? At this point he has nothing to lose.

God had to bring me to such a point –of utter brokenness and despair where I had nothing else to lose. Very often it’s comfort, wealth or even just sufficiency -life being “good enough”, that’s deceiving us, holding us back and that causes us to fail to see our desperate need for Jesus.

I implore you, don’t be proud like I was, I would spare you that pain!

Humble yourself and seek the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God has come in the person of Jesus Christ. Seek the Lord while He may be found!

With a humble heart, petition the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see and ears to hear as He’s done for the thief on the cross.

Look upon Jesus, hear Him through the Word, believe and be saved.


God does it all.

All the thief did was not reject it.

The clarifying message of the salvation of the thief on the cross was that God does it all. Salvation is a gift that we simply receive –a gift that is imparted when we accept Jesus as He really is, just as the thief on the cross saw Him.

Dear brother, formerly called the thief on the cross, what did you see?

“I am a sinner, justly condemned (Luke 23:40-41), but this man is what is spoken of Him even though I may not know what that fully means: the Christ, King of The Jews (Luke 23:35-39), a King of a Kingdom that is not of this world –a kingdom where I want to be, He is One who will live again and who can make me live again (Luke 23:42).”

I love a commentary by Pastor Alistair Begg on the matter: “The thief enters heaven and he is asked about how he got there and what he knows about this doctrine or that and the thief replies, ‘All I know is that the Man on the middle cross said I could come.'”


The thief did everything that is necessary to be saved: He did not reject the grace God made available through Jesus Christ.

Right now, Jesus Christ, the grace and salvation of God, is being presented to you.

All you have to do is not reject it.

Accept it. Believe Jesus. Be saved.

I conclude with a caution: the thief did all that was necessary to be saved and enter life, yet their is so much more to be had. He was like a baby that was born but who’s earthly body was immediately aborted.

Yes, by all means, enter life BUT DON’T STOP THERE.

There is more life to be had.

Let us who live also continue on to maturity, enjoying and exercising the grace of God to His glory for all of our days.

Don’t live a minimal life.

Enter by grace.
Continue in grace.
Grow in grace.

Amazing Grace.

#grace #resurrection #ressurectionsunday

Believe Jesus All The Way

Paul Luckett | - Believe Jesus All The Way

It was good to fellowship this past Resurrection Sunday with the beautiful people of Sand Creek Chapel Church.

Their Pastor Abdural Lee preached on a powerful interaction from John 11:25-26 where Martha says to Jesus,

“If You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

And Jesus responds,

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

“Do you believe this?”

Pastor Lee shared an illustration of him being a barber.

People have seen Pastor Lee cut hair, so they come to him trusting that he can cut their hair.

But, they don’t trust him to fix their car because they’ve never seen him do that type of work.

Pastor Lee uses this to illustrate how Martha trusted Jesus to heal her brother because she’s known Him to heal. “But,” as Pastor Lee says, “she’s never seen Jesus raise anyone from the dead.”

At this point Pastor Lee asserts what Jesus asserts that He “is the resurrection and the life” and then poses the same question that Jesus poses to Martha from verse 26,

“Do you believe this?” [that Jesus is the resurrection and the life]

From there Pastor Lee prompted us to assess to what extent we trust Jesus and then challenged us to “trust Jesus all the way”.

There are things Jesus has said He will do even beyond the resurrection that we’ve never seen and may not see in our lifetime.

We cannot receive what Jesus offers unless we trust Jesus all the way.

I’ve written before that salvation requires pinhole accuracy. Only Jesus can do it. Only Jesus can get you there. Jesus alone is The Way.

The world offers many paths, many doors, many versions of Jesus even, but Jesus is THE Door. And, there is a very specific Jesus we must go through.

It’s the Door that you only find by believing Jesus all the way, only by the full embrace of believing the most unbelievable event in human history –the resurrection: that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God given by God to die for our sins and He was raised from the dead “with all power” (Matthew 28:18).

Only by believing Jesus all the way can we receive what He offers: salvation, fellowship with God and resurrection.

Believe Jesus. All the way.

Thank you Pastor Abdural Lee.

#resurrection #ressurectionsunday

One More

Paul Luckett | - One More

Something that struck me today as we were reflecting on the last utterances of Jesus from the cross…

There’s no indication that the Man had eaten.

He’s likely dizzy from the blood loss of the scourging alone. ¹

He struggles to carry the implement of His torture, weighing upwards of 175 lbs (79kg), for more than 650 yards (600m). ²

When He finally gets to the hill, He’s rewarded with nails driven through His flesh to fix Him to the cross. ³

He’s struggling to breath from the asphyxiation the cross was designed to produce.

He’s being humiliated, openly mocked even by both of the thieves He’s being crucified between. ⁴

But somewhere along the way, one thief has a change of heart. ⁵

Bloodied, beaten and dying, what does our Lord think?

One more.


In His state, Jesus makes the time for a thief, a “convicted felon” as someone put it today, to accept his repentance and to assure his salvation because the condemned man simply believed Jesus was a King not of this world. (Luke 23:39)

Jesus makes time for him in the midst of all He was going through to minister to him and say, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ⁶

To His dying breath, Jesus used every ounce of strength He had to do His Father’s will.

This illuminates John 13:1,
“[…] Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” -John 13:1

He loved them to end with everything that He had -love that reconciled them to the Father.

That’s the standard.

This is a Perfect Picture of what it looks like to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. ⁷

My Lord and My God.

What excuse do I possibly have for not loving to the very end, especially since I “have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin”?! (Hebrews 12:4)

The calling is indeed high. So, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

When I am tired, hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and beat down ⁸, by His grace I aim to be like my Savior and think, “One more.”

¹ Matthew 27:26, John 19:1
² Matthew 27:29
³ John 20:25
⁴ Matthew 27:44
⁵ Luke 23:38-42
⁶ Luke 23:43
⁷ Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:29-31
⁸ 2 Corinthians 4:7