Welcome to part 2 of #TheFinalWords series looking at how the 7 statements of Jesus on the cross offer us hope!
As Jesus hung between two criminals, one of them joined the crowds in mocking Jesus saying, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal defended Jesus saying, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
This man admitted his guilt, and acknowledged Christ’s innocence. The same thing we must do to be saved. But it’s not enough to just realize we are guilty, we respond with repentance and faith.
He responded by saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
By asking Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, in essence we as asking for Christ’s forgiveness and acknowledging Christ’s Lordship.
This story shows that God cares more about a heart willing to turn from sin and trust him than a perfect salvation prayer.
Jesus agreed to remember him saying,
“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
This story proves that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, because if we were saved by works, he couldn’t have got much done stuck to a cross!
Also, it’s never too late for anyone, while you are still breathing there is still hope! Turn from your sin, trust Christ’s sacrifice, and tell as many people as you can how they can join you in paradise!