After crucifying Jesus, everyone was anticipating to see what would happen next. Some tried to comprehend the prayer that Jesus said a while ago, while some waited to see how things would unfold. In the midst of the chaos and confusion, only one criminal understood the truth about Jesus Christ. He changed his views about Jesus. When the other criminal began to provoke Jesus to prove his powers and bring them down from the cross, he sternly rebuked him saying, “We are receiving the just punishment for our deeds, but Jesus was a righteous person who was unjustly punished.”
Looking unto Jesus, he said, “Lord, remember me when you come in your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). He knew that Jesus was not an ordinary person and that his life would not end with his death. He recognized Jesus Christ as a king, with a kingdom. This faith gave him the courage to ask Jesus to remember him when he receives his own kingdom.
Today you will be with me in paradise sermon from the seven words of jesus on the cross
Despite being in deep agony, Jesus didn’t ignore or miss his plea for mercy. He immediately approved his request by saying, “Today, you shall be with me in paradise.” Practically, he didn’t deserve such a great privilege. He was a criminal. All his life, the only thing that he did was harming and hurting others. At the end of his life, it was the true conviction and repentance that made the entire difference. He is the only person in the entire Bible who was saved at the last hour of his life and had the privilege to enter paradise with the King himself. All his fear of eternity was wiped away with the Savior’s assurance.
Unfortunately, the other criminal didn’t realize the importance of Jesus Christ. He was so focused upon himself that he rejected the Master’s mercy. He perished in his sins.
Both the criminals had to the opportunity to hear Jesus’ prayer for forgiveness. They met the Savior at the right time and at the same time. However, one sinner repented for his sins and got saved while the other refused the Savior and perished.
Like that repentant criminal, we too may have made some wrong choices in life. We may even be reaping its consequences right now. But take heart. Look to Jesus and turn to him for help and forgiveness. He will never ignore your pleas for mercy. He will forgive your sins and will blot out all your trespasses. He will write your name in the book of life and will give you a new identity, a new status, and a new destination so that you too can enjoy a blissful relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you will grow in the Lord and have a beautiful relationship with him.