Matthew 27:44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.
How merciful is our God?
As I was reading and pondering the events of the crucifixion of Jesus I was thinking about how the two thieves crucified with Christ were bad mouthing, disrespecting (AKA dissing) Jesus. Both were involved in the insulting but something happened to just one of them. He had a change of heart, a change of mind and the recognition of who God was. He also recognized the kingdom of God. Wow…you would think it would take a lot of teaching to understand the kingdom of God and the justice of God too. He didn’t have time to read a bible or even be witnessed to by anyone. His time for being alive was almost gone. How did he figure all this out in the last minutes of his life?
I believe the power of the Holy Spirit was right there revealing truth and offering mercy from God to these two men. God was trying to offer salvation/eternal life to them right up to the bitter end but only one would accept the gift of salvation. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) This promise extends throughout a person’s entire life right down to the last second.
I was so moved in my heart as I pondered the fact of God’s mercy and amazing grace and I will never stop praying for people that I’ve been praying for salvation for years. I also realized how many chances God gives everyone to make it to heaven. GOD IS SO MERCIFUL!!!
The death and resurrection of Jesus is for whosoever!! Whosoever means any person. Any person who will declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus could have been crucified by himself but I believe God included the other two men to make a point. God used this opportunity to show His mercy by offering forgiveness for the thieves on the cross. He also showed mercy for the murderers present and for all of us humans who need a Savior.
(We should never assume anyone went to hell when they died. I have been near death a few times and even though I was a Christian the first thing that came to my mind was to ask God to forgive me of my sins. It’s a natural instinct that comes on you in the face of extreme danger. I know not all people will feel that way and they will die in their sinful state.)
This holiday season… lets remember how merciful God is. Jesus death and resurrection should affect us all day every day! He commands us to remember!
Jesus offers us LIFE eternal. Thank you Jesus!!
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.