We remember on the day the crucified Christ died alongside two criminals, one of the men mocked Jesus. The man told Jesus, if indeed he was the Messiah sent to save the world, Jesus should save himself and the man who hung beside him as well.
The other criminal recognized Jesus as the sinless Christ. God’s Only Son. Savior. Redeemer. Messiah.
This man admitted he deserved to die for his sins, but Jesus didn’t.
Acknowledging who Jesus was, this second man asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.
Upon hearing the man’s confession of faith, Jesus assured the man he would be remembered. Jesus said he would be with Christ in Paradise that very day.
Although Jesus accepted the sins of both men upon his perfect sinless self; the one who believed and the one who mocked, only one of the men would be with Jesus in Heaven.
One of the criminals on the cross recognized the truth of who Jesus is. He admitted his sinfulness deserved punishment. He confessed his belief in Jesus as Lord. Because of that, Jesus gave his solemn promise the man would be in Paradise.
The other man’s lack of faith and sin separated him from Christ.
Jesus died for all so we could have life eternal with him in Heaven. It’s up to each individual to decide whether to accept Christ’s invitation or not.
Jesus paid the debt we could never pay with his life.
The decision we must make is what will we do with that sacrificial gift.
Accept it? Or reject it?
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One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested. “Don’t you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in Paradise. This is a solemn promise.” Luke 23:39-43 (TLB)
I wish you well.
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