He chooses and saves one of His crucifiers!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)
"Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided up His clothes by casting lots." Luke 23:34
"And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard His cry and saw how He died, he said: Surely this man was the Son of God!" Mark 15:39
He Who hung in sheer and marvelous mercy on the Cross craves a trophy of grace, and will not be satisfied until He has it. Out of the ranks of cruel paganism, He chooses and saves one of His crucifiers!
The Savior had been praying, and it is evident now that His prayer was not in vain: "Father, forgive them!" He had entreated God for the very Roman centurion who had nailed Him to His tree of shame, and then had sat down and barbarously gambled for His clothes. Yet he is . . .
fully and instantly forgiven,
led bound in blessed thraldom by Him Whose arms he had fettered,
transformed into the confessor of the Man he crucifies!
Let me rejoice that nothing is too hard for the prayers of Jesus. He asks God for . . .
my salvation and pardon,
the conquest of my unthinking and earth-chained mind,
the renewal of my selfish, proud and disobedient life.
In the heavenly place He lifts His holy and pierced hands on my behalf. And the Father gives Him His heart's desire, and does not withhold the request of His lips.