Luke 23:39-43 39Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” 40But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Having read this passage a thousand times, I’ve always understood that both the criminals were so different from each other. More like, a good criminal and a bad criminal. Contradicting choice of words, aren’t they?
But recently, I realized that when both of these criminals were hanging on their crosses; it was their only opportunity to ever get saved and know the love of God. It was an opportunity of their lifetime to have spoken to the Lord and Christ of the world. For me, they were not hanging on their crosses but on the best opportunity of their soon-to-end lives.
What do we do when we go through situations that make us feel like we are carrying a heavy cross that will crush us to the earth? How do we react when our hands and feet feel like have been nailed down and we can do anything to help ourselves? Do we question God like the first thief saying, ”If you are the Christ save yourself and us as well” or do we like the other thief say, ”Lord remember me when you come in your kingdom”.
Imagine this, if Jesus being on the cross, covered with the sins of the world and having His Father turn His face away from Him, could grant the thief a life with Him. How much more today when He is sitting at the right hand of the Father will He take us through what we are facing?
For everyone who is facing such a situation where you feel like you are hanging on a cross and are close to death and destruction, remember that you are hanging on an opportunity and let God work His salvation in your life.
Remember that the Cross was the only opportunity Jesus had to save the world and make a way for us to be called Sons of God. Needless to say, He made the most of it!
Do write back with your experiences and opinions would love to hear from you.