by Curt Dodd

Establishing Loving Relationships
Curt Dodd
Luke 23:32-43

''Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals -- one on His
right, the other on His left. Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.

''The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him. They said, 'He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.'

''The soldiers also came up and mocked Him. They offered Him wine vinegar and said, 'If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.'

''There was a written notice above Him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

''One of the criminals, who hung there hurled insults at Him: 'Aren't You the Christ? Save Yourself and us!'

''But the other criminal rebuked him, 'Don't you fear God?' he said, 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.'

''Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into Your Kingdom.'

''Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.''

If ever there was someone who knew how to establish loving relationships, it was Jesus Christ. Even dying on the cross for your sins and my sins, Jesus established a loving relationship with a man who was being put to death rightly for his own sin. Relationships are very important, establishing them and keeping them seemingly is a critical goal in life to all of us.

I like the story of Pepper Rogers who was in the middle of a terrible season as football coach of UCLA. He said it got so bad in his loosing season that it even upset his home life. He recalls, ''My dog was my only friend. I told my wife that a man needs at least two friends, and she bought me another dog.'' We all have two great d ...

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