This is day three of the 30 day challenge! This is a big week in the Christian world, it’s what we call Holy Week. Therefore, in celebration of Holy Week, I have decided to write about the seven utterances or phrases that Jesus said while on the cross.
When Jesus was crucified, the Bible lets us know that he was hung between two criminals. He himself did not deserve to die in that way; however, even until the end he was thinking of others. Here is an excerpt of the story:
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.d” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43 NIV)
The criminals represent two types of people: 1) an unrepentant person – just wants a good outcome without changing and 2) a repented person – one who recognizes that they have done wrong and need a Savior.
The repented criminal told Jesus to “remember him, when he went to his kingdom”. There on the cross he recognized Jesus as the Messiah, as opposed to the unrepentant criminal who questioned “if” Jesus was the Messiah.
Jesus responded by saying “today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus granted salvation to a convicted criminal.
Here is the deal we are all sinners. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 the following:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
It’s up to us to decide how we are going to react. The moral of this post is to create consciousness to us that Salvation is available by grace through faith. We must have a repented heart and believe that Jesus is Lord.
While this may all sound elementary and simplistic, too often we live our lives acting like the first criminal without even realizing it. How many times have we questioned “if” Jesus really is who the Bible claims he is? How many times have we become so frustrated with our current reality that we become reckless in the way that we lead our lives? Our actions or reactions incriminate us. However, if we have a heart that is repented and believes that Jesus is the Savior like that of the second criminal, Jesus is gracious enough to extend salvation to us.
In essence, Jesus told the second criminal “today is your day.”
Think about the recent choices that you have made. Did you act like the first criminal or the second?