5. The Thief on the Cross
We do not know much more about the thief on the cross other than he was:
Crucified next to Jesus
Brought into paradise at his death
His powerful story is told in Luke 23:32-43, that describes the conversation between Christ and the two criminals crucified alongside of him.
The first criminal mentioned mocked Christ, “Save yourself and us!” (23:29). The other criminal, of whom we are writing, defended Jesus in a humble manner, acknowledging the justice of God and the innocence of Christ. His response to the mocker was,
Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. (vv. 40-41)
Then he pleaded with Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This desperate and humble cry for mercy is all that God needed to welcome him into the family of God.
Jesus answered, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (v. 43)
What an incredible story! A man who presumably led his entire life in opposition to God, by the great mercies of God, was able to be saved in his dying moments. This demonstrates that a humble heart that cries out to God for salvation will be heard!
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)
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