Two thieves...two very different ways to die.

davidIn Luke 23 we have the account of the thief on the cross. There are actually two thieves being crucified along-side Jesus. One thief asks Jesus, “Are you not the Christ?” It looks like maybe he does believe that Jesus is the Christ, but in the next sentence that comes out of his mouth you hear his true motivation, “Save yourself and us!” He is ultimately asking Jesus to save him from death. Basically asking the Son of God for a gift while ignoring the gift-giver. The other thief on the other hand knows what’s at stake. He says to the other thief, “Do you not fear God?” He knows that after death he will face God. He also knows that there is a distinct difference between himself and Jesus. He knows they are being justly punished for their crimes, but that Jesus has done nothing wrong. So, he sees past his own need of physical release from death into an eternal need of salvation and then turns to Jesus and says, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus responds and says, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” I imagine those words were pretty incredible to that thief. He is going to die. It is a horrible way to die. But right after, in the same day, he’s going to be in paradise with Jesus. That’s amazing. I imagine those two thieves experienced the agony of death very differently as they eventually took their last breaths. Thinking through that story gets me very excited about the power of the Gospel. That thief knew his life justly deserved that punishment. And that’s the truth for all of us. We were, even if we grew up in church, dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2) and just as vile as that thief. Hallelujah that God opened our eyes to the reality of who Jesus is. And now, just like the thief, our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sin is the most amazing truth and reality in all of life. May we sing the chorus of this song forever!! [youtube width="560" height="315" video_id="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctQw4bIDu3Q"]