Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
Have you ever realized that all of us once despised and rejected Jesus, not knowing Him, and were even enemies of Him (Col 1:21), just like the first robber in this passage? We are all destined to be perishing sinners. However, the second robber confessed that he was a sinner and believed that Jesus was the holy lamb of God, acknowledging Jesus as his savior. As a dying criminal who sinned his whole life, it must be his ultimate joy and hope to hear Jesus say “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise”. At the same time, the repentance of this robber was also a great comfort to Jesus, as He got to see the fruit of His labor.
The same sacrificial love on the cross is still there for everyone of us today. It’s never too late to accept Jesus as our savior no matter how broken, filthy, or sinful we are. Any time we can make a U-turn to our Heavenly Father, who always welcomes us home with open arms.
Think of how Jesus restored and encouraged us when we were in our spiritual valley, and offer thanksgiving and praises to Him for that. Search your heart to see if there is still any sin that makes your fear or keeps you from the joy of your perfect salvation. Commit yourself completely to the Lord through prayers and repentance.
What we can do:
Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal and cleanse all our presumptuous and secret sins (disobedience, pride, addiction, enslavement to Satan, and the lust of the flesh). Embrace the peace of salvation through prayers.
Tell at least one seeker that Jesus loves him/her and share with him/her your testimony.
Song: H164 Just As I Am/I Come Broken
“39 那同釘的兩個犯人，有一個譏誚祂說：「你不是基督嗎？可以救自己和我們吧！」 40 那一個就應聲責備他說：「你既是一樣受刑的，還不怕 神嗎？ 41 我們是應該的，因我們所受的與我們所做的相稱，但這個人沒有做過一件不好的事。」 42 就說：「耶穌啊，你得國降臨的時候，求你記念我！」 43 耶穌對他說：「我實在告訴你：今日你要同我在樂園裡了！」(路23:39-43)