Duke Jeyaraj
Bollywood Actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to a five-year jail term for illegal possession of weapons in the 1993 Bombay bomb blast case. Having spent 18 months in jail he will have to spend three-and-half years in prison as per the court verdict released a few days ago. To this he responded fighting back the tears, “I have not applied for pardon. There are others who deserve pardon.” (The Hindu, March 29, 2013). Dutt is saying in-effect here: “I deserve this punishment!” That reminds me of what one of the thieves crucified alongside Jesus two thousand years back said. He said, “We are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong.” This thief was saying in-effect: “I deserve this punishment!” And he went on to tell Jesus, “Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” (Lk 23:41-42). This dying thief exhibited two things: a repentant spirit and a visionary faith. He was sorry for the life as a robber. Though Jesus did not look any different from them at that point in time, he had eyes of faith to see Jesus as King of Kings with a kingdom! Upon seeing these two qualities, Jesus promised him paradise (Lk 23:43). The lesson: we may have squandered our lives, we may be sinners of the worst sort, but if we truly repent and totally trust Christ and what he has done for us on the Cross, we too will go to heaven! What is more, life on this earth will be meaningful and purposeful!

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