Jesus remember me, when you come into your kingdom.
That was the last hymn we sang at our Good Friday service last night. I remember being confused about this hymn growing up. When does Jesus go into his kingdom? Isn’t it the “Kingdom of God” that we always talk about in church, not the “Kingdom of Jesus”? What is that? Where is that? I was getting stuck on the last half of the phrase. What a weird phrase.
I think theologians like myself can get stuck on the theological jumping jacks in a hymn like this. Where? How? What? I’m confused. I’m guessing there are people who have been asking these questions longer than I have.
But I think the gem of this phrase isn’t in the last half – it’s in the first half.
Jesus, remember me.
Remember me. A simple request, and yet one that carries a lot of weight. An intimate request. What does it mean to be remembered? It means that you feel valued. It means that you matter. What greater feeling is there than to be remembered?
That’s what we ask Jesus. In the ups and downs of life. Jesus, remember me.
As many heard at Good Friday services around the world last night, Jesus says to the lowest of the low in society, hanging on crosses next to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23).
Paradise? Heaven? Where is this place? Is this where Jesus goes?
Perhaps. I think it’s Jesus’ response to our call when we ask “Jesus, remember me.” In the highs and the lows of life. I wonder if the mystery of faith is in the waiting between Good Friday and Easter.
Today you will be with me in paradise.