“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” — Luke 23:43
Have you ever heard the phrase “deus ex machina”? It means literally “God from the machine.” It’s a storytelling technique that refers to when an unexpected power or event saves a hopeless situation. We see it in Lord of the Flies when the children are finally rescued by a naval officer. The author used the technique to convey the terrible fate the children would have faced if the officer had not arrived at that moment. These deus ex machina moments give us a deep sense of relief, because we ache for them in our own lives.
The thief on the cross to whom Jesus is speaking in Luke 23 was in a hopeless place, looking for grace and mercy. Jesus responded with limitless mercy and goodness in eight precious words: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
We have the same opportunity as that condemned thief. No matter what you’ve done. No matter what’s been done to you. No matter how hopeless things may seem. There is always still hope. Jesus came to redeem and renew all things. When we ask him to take control of our lives, our stories change in a huge way. He is our deus ex machina.
How do you feel about a criminal so freely receiving forgiveness on the cross?
When was the last time you ached for a deus ex machina in your life?
Ask someone if they’ve ever heard of a deus ex machina.