Two criminals on the Cross

File:Gospel of Luke Chapter 23-13 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media).jpg  - Wikimedia Commons

Luke 23:32-33, 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.

The gospel of Luke clearly mentions that Jesus was crucified along with two criminals. Jesus prays for those who persecute Him, praying,’ Father please forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’ The soldiers cast lots for the clothes of Jesus. A huge crowd gathered to watch the crucifixion. The people, rulers and soldiers, all mocked Him. Luke: 23: 35,They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the Jews.

The criminal on the left hurled insults on Jesus just like the others and made fun of Him. On the other hand, the criminal on the right was observing Jesus who was calm since the time the soldiers had stripped Him of His clothes and nailed Him for crucifixion. He was touched by the words others hurled at Jesus: Messiah, The one who saved others. He had noticed the calm and tranquility on the face of Jesus befitting a King, even when He was in the midst of immense pain from the nails, whippings and the crucifixion.

The criminal on the right said, 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Though a criminal, there was still fear of God in him. He made the other criminal realize that they were being punished justly for their evil deeds, whereas Jesus had nothing wrong. Jesus was innocent. The criminal on the right believed and accepted all that he had heard and was hearing. He believed in his heart all that he saw before him with Jesus on the cross. With the full faith in his heart, the criminal accepted Jesus as the Son of God and Deliverer of sins. 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The salvation which the criminal on the right received is the most spoken about in sermons and also in prayers. Dear children of God, when you sit down for prayer remember that the Lord paid the price for our souls through His persecution and crucifixion. Remember His agony and pain at the cross. Let us pray that the Lord may forgive us our sins just as He forgave the criminal on the cross who repented for his sins from his heart. The word of God teaches us that those who believe that Christ came down from heaven for the deliverance of our sins and bore all the pains for our sins would receive salvation.

Romans 3:23,23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23, 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is to be clearly understood that death here means the death of the soul which is serious. Ephesians 2:8, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Hebrews 6:4-8,It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

There were two criminals who were crucified with Jesus, yet only received salvation and forgiveness for his sins. Jesus has said be alert for my coming.

Dear children of God, true repentance comes form the heart and leads to forgiveness of sins is what the Bible teaches us through various incidents. Hebrews 6:19,19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

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