This past Sunday our pastor continued a series on the final words of Jesus said while on the cross.
This week he spoke on Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Our pastor pointed out something that I had not considered before. Since we typically focus on the thief who asks for forgiveness we don’t delve into the one who only insults Him. The unrepentant criminal has never taken responsibility for his actions. Even while his life is slipping into eternity he refuses to consider his guilt. For some reason he believes he is entitled to have Jesus bail him out.
I have to admit that sometimes I cause my own sticky messes and want Jesus to give me a get out jail free card. I want to be more like the other man beside Jesus. He knows he has committed crimes worthy of punishment on a cross. He accepts his punishment. His final request is “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” While I’m not in a hurry to climb up on a cross I want my attitude to be the same when I mess things up.
We can take a couple things away from this.
- While there is breath there is hope. Even with his life fading one thief is saved by Jesus. He is the one who got the get out of jail free card in the end. My biological parents both came to Jesus just before their deaths so I know.
- Jesus doesn’t speak to the unrepentant criminal. You can’t argue people into the kingdom. If Jesus didn’t give it a go, you should”t either.