And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
— LUKE 23:42-43 —
T. P. | Asia
Crucifixion is perhaps the most humiliating and painful form of execution. Yet, our Lord did not resist it and showed no resentment. He even prayed for those responsible for His death. Nevertheless, it was the fulfillment of prophecy (Isa. 53:12). The thief’s statements reveal he had heard and probably seen Jesus’ kingdom activities (Luke 23:35, 38, 41). Jesus in His compassion offered salvation to the penitent sinner. What an undeserving privilege to trust in and serve this faithful Savior and Master! The confidence of the dying thief in the dying Savior is very touching and striking. He believed the rejected Lord will one day appear again as King in His glory. He asks no special place in that kingdom, rather he only asks that the King not forget him. In a painful situation in the face of death, he surrendered his life to the Lord. This gives us hope to continue to witness to even the worst of sinners about Christ, so that God in His time may draw them to salvation. The thief was saved wholly by grace; it was the gift of God (Eph. 2:8–9). The thief did not deserve salvation and he could not earn it. His salvation was secure and guaranteed by the word of Christ. Jesus forgave him that very day, and he died and went with Jesus to Paradise. Glory to God! These verses challenge us to bow down in worship before our Savior for His abounding mercy to save sinners like us. Each day He is preparing us as His servants. What an undeserving privilege to trust in and serve this faithful Savior and Master!