TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Luke 23:39-43
One of the criminals who were hanged therewas hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are sufferingjustly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
We all know the story of the two thieves who were crucified on either side of Jesus, and how one of them came to believe just before his death.
We will never know what was truly in his heart. Nevertheless, Jesus knew. He also knew that that man hanging beside him would never have a chance to change his way of living. He would never have a chance to tell others about his new faith, nor to go back to the victims of his crimes and try to make things right.
But Jesus forgave him anyway, and promised eternal life.
What better way to illustrate the wonderful grace of God? Jesus died a death He did not deserve to save us from a punishment we DO deserve!