We are talking about the words of Christ as he was on the cross. Lent is a wonderful time that we as Christians reflect on all that Christ has accomplished through his redeeming work. There is much to be gained by listening and learning from what Christ said as he hung between two worlds and two thieves.
In this writing, I want to talk about His second saying. Look with me at Luke 23:42-43, “and he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, I say unto you, Today you will be with me in paradise.”
These words are spoken to a dying thief. Jesus is being crucified between two thieves. The Prince of Glory shamefully hanging with some of the vilest and hated people in the world. We see by this scene alone that salvation is for all people. It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter what you have done. It doesn't matter who accepts you or who rejects you. Christ comes to where you are and redeems eternally who you are. I love the song that says “it reaches to the highest mountain and it flows to the lowest valley.” His shed blood, the reach of salvation, knows no bound. From the highest to the lowest and everywhere in between. We all can have salvation and the hope of Heaven.
In the thief we see us all. “The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day; and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.” I sang that growing up in church and didn’t realize all that it meant until I found myself in such a state as to be worthy of death and hell. This man cried out to Jesus and said remember me! In this cry we find a man who saw who Christ is and noticed himself for who he is. We all must come to a realization of who Jesus is and a revelation of who we are. When he cried out, it was a cry of repentance. When we see our sin and selfishness, we need to ask Christ to forgive us and remember how desperate we are in saving ourselves. He came to the end of himself and, when he did, he found the beginning of God. When we see the end of who we are, we will be able to know and understand just who Christ is and what he did on the cross for us. One man has said “repentance is a realization of our lost condition, it is a discovery of our ruin, it is judging ourselves, it is the owning of our lost estate.”
When the thief came to this place, then he was a candidate for a better place. The fact is, for the lost, this world is as good as it will ever be but for those who find Christ and his redemption, this world is the worst it will ever get. Why? Because Jesus said... “Today you will be with me in paradise.” I believe in heaven and by God’s grace and I am going there. Come with me!!!