Bible Passage: Luke 23:32-43
Outside the northern gate of Jerusalem that day, along a rocky ridgeline named Calvary, were 3 crosses. Upon those crosses were 3 men, writhing in agony & blood. On one side was a thief, a malefactor. On the other side was another guilty thief. On the middle cross hung the Son of GOD who was dying for the sin of the world. One thief turned to the Lord Jesus & appealed for mercy & received it. The other looked at Jesus Christ, railed upon Him, ridiculed Him, perhaps cursed Him, & then died in his sins & went to hell. Now we mustn’t forget that the repentance of the one thief was not immediate. Matthew & Mark inform us that initially both thieves insulted Christ as they hung there. In Matthew’s account, he tells us that the religious leaders derided Christ with these words:
Mat 27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of GOD.
Mat 27:44 (Then we read) The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
One minute a dying thief is mocking Jesus about His claim to be the Son of GOD, the next he is believing on Christ as the Son of GOD. This account provides us with wonderful lessons about genuine saving faith & the grace of our Lord Jesus.