July 1, 2005
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
Several years ago, Eric Clapton sang a song including the words, “Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door.” There was a man in the Bible who was also knocking on the door of heaven—even at the door of death. We know him as the thief on the cross that hung next to Jesus. That day, the dying man found life, forgiveness, and hope in Jesus Christ.
There are many people today who find themselves at death’s door—perhaps not physical, but living death. Their souls are dying because they don’t know life in Jesus Christ. The Scripture says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).
On that day of execution, Jesus was accused of treason and rebellion. The other two men that hung on either side were probably petty thieves. Yet it was common for men to be crucified in those days and that Romans enjoyed doing it. It was cruel punishment. Jesus was alone that day with the exception of the two thieves who died on either side.
In the middle of an excruciating death, after flesh had been ripped from His body as a result of a beating, he had dragged a heavy cross for miles, and then had large nails driven through His hands and feet, Jesus still demonstrated His love toward a petty thief.
In his last moments, the thief turned to the Lord in faith, died to his sin, and received grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and assurance of eternal life at the cross. At the moment of death, everyone is going to face judgment whether we have rejected Him and died in unbelief or whether we have received Him and died in faith. When the moment of death comes, will you be ready to face the Lord? Trust Him to give you mercy and forgiveness today despite your past.
WHICH YOU GO KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVENS DOOR,
BE SURE THAT JESUS IS WAITING ON THE OTHER SIDE.