11th August 2020

He Was a thief!

“Two criminals were also led out with him for execution, and when they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified him with the criminals, one on either side of him.”
Luke 23:32-33 (Phillips)

The reason they were nailed to crosses was because they were robbers, probably with violence. One of them gave Jesus a hard time, yelling at him (verse 39) “Aren’t you Christ? Why don’t you save yourself—and us?” This guy was not worried about Jesus, he just wanted to save his own miserable skin! The fact that he deserved to be punished for his sins against innocent people did not faze him.

The other robber rebuked him and defended Christ as innocent and sinless. Notice his words, “Aren’t you afraid of God even when you’re getting the same punishment as he is? And it’s fair enough for us, for we’ve got what we deserve, but this man never did anything wrong in his life.”

I wonder if this individual had witnessed Jesus during his ministry and perhaps listened to him preach? That would have been very possible, I think. Notice what he says next— “Jesus”—he knows his name! “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (verse 42). He also believes that he is a King and will inherit a kingdom—wow!

With his dying breath Jesus replies in verse 43, “I tell you truly, this very day you will be with me in paradise!” Christ is telling him that whatever sins he has committed in his criminal life, have been wiped out. Everything that held him to his cross has been forgiven. If we read between the lines, I believe he is telling him; at this point in time, you are pinned to a cross by nails but, for the first time in your life, you are actually free!

It is that simple, my friends—there is no other message in this world that will set you free, and of course no other Name! As it says in Acts 4:12, “In no one else can salvation be found. For in all this world no other name has been given to men but this, and it is by this name that we must be saved.”

The thief knew that name! Perhaps you know it too?

Prayer
Thank you, Lord, that even with your dying breath you had compassion and saved this lost sheep!
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton where he is on the Leadership Team.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Shirley McLean
Phone:  01442-780783
Email: luton@gracecom.church

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