- The dying criminal had more faith than the rest of Jesus's followers combined. Although the disciples loved Jesus, their hopes for the kingdom (for a king who's going to redeem Israel politically) were crushed when they looked at Christ on the cross. By the way things looked at that moment, the kingdom was nowhere to be seen. Jesus had tried to teach the disciples that His kingdom was not to be a kingdom of this world but they didn't get it. By faith, this man saw beyond the present gloom to the coming glory. Now we have the privilege of knowing that Christ's death and resurrection overthrew satan's rule and established Christ's eternal authority over the earth.
- This man trusted Jesus to save him and Jesus accepted him and granted his request. Even in His pain and suffering, Jesus loves sinners and had mercy & compassion on this criminal who chose to believe in Him. It shows that our deeds don't save us. Our faith in Jesus does. It shows that baptism is not required for salvation, either. We're saved by grace alone through faith in Christ alone.
"Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? Why not six or ten? Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? The gift of choice.
The two criminals were convicted by the same system. Condemned to the same death. Equally close to the same Jesus. But one changed!
You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices." You can!
When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him. When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. He allowed him the choice. He does the same for you!" ~Max Lucado