The Day Jesus Died

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

We’ve heard the story. We’ve analyzed the motives. We’ve memorized the words.

On the day Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was nailed to a cross and died for the sins of all mankind, and paid the penalty for a debt he did not owe, two thieves hung on either side of him.

One thief mocked Jesus, saying if he were indeed the Messiah, he should get himself down from the cross and spare the lives of the two hanging on either side of him while he was at it. His taunting showed his heart. It showed his unbelief. It showed his eternal destination.

The other thief had a different attitude toward Christ.

He recognized Jesus for who he truly was. The Son of God. And he trembled.

This thief knew he deserved the death penalty for the sins he committed. He didn’t try to courtesy pixabayweasel his way out of the punishment due him.

He also knew Christ was innocent and did not deserve to die a horribly wretched death on the Roman instrument of cruel inhumane punishment.

This thief humbly asked Jesus to remember him once Jesus went into his heavenly kingdom.

Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed so you and I could understand how deep, how wide, and how strong his love for us is. It’s personal. Christ had each and every one of us in his thoughts and on his heart when he became the Sacrificial Lamb. Our face ran through his mind as he breathed his last breath.

We have a choice, you know.

We can be like the first thief.

Mock Jesus, make fun of him, and refuse his sacrifice.

Or we can be like the second thief.

Acknowledge the fact we are sinners who deserve to die for our sins, who are in great need of a Savior, and in humble gratitude give of our best to the Master.

However that manifests itself in our lives.

courtesy pixabay

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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 fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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The thief on the cross.

He knew he deserved his punishment. He knew he deserved to die in the most horrific way Rome had ever devised. Death by crucifixion. To struggle for every breath, against the insufferable pain and torture of the spikes driven through his hands and feet, until that final, last, ragged breath left his lungs. He knew he got what he earned for his crime.

Yet…the man in the middle. The man they called the Christ. Messiah. Son of God. The thief was convinced, Jesus did not deserve the unjust punishment. The thief knew Jesus was innocent. The thief understood Jesus to truly be Redeemer. Savior. Lord.

The thief cried out to Jesus. And Jesus answered him, just as surely as he answers us when we cry out to him today.

The debt we owed, but could never pay, was paid in full by Jesus. Our King. Our LORD. Our Messiah. Our Savior. That’s how love conquered death. That’s how Christ’s love won.

Jesus took our place on the cross. He died so we wouldn’t have to. His wounds can heal even our deepest sins. We only need to ask.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. ”Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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