Jesus With Criminals On The Cross
- Luke 23:39-43 MLV
Now one of the criminals who hung there, was blaspheming him, saying, If you are the Christ save yourself and us! But the other answered and was rebuking him, saying, Do you not fear even God, because you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed suffer righteously; for* we are receiving worthy payment of what we practiced, but this one practiced nothing improper. And he said, Jesus, remember me Lord, whenever you come in your kingdom. And he said to him, Assuredly I am saying to you, Today you will be with me in Paradise.
The Tolerant Jesus
Two criminals spoke to Jesus. One insulted Him while the other affirmed Him. Notice Jesus did not even respond to the first one who insulted Him. He totally ignored him and concentrated on what is important – ministering to the one who believed Him. Would we be so tolerant with people that have insulted us? Usually when we hear an insult we respond immediately, "What did you just say?" Yet Jesus demonstrated what true love is. True love is slow to anger.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
"Love* has patience. It is kind. Love* is not jealous. Love* does not brag. It is not arrogant. It does not behave improperly. It does not seek its own. It does not irritate. It does not reason evil."
Paradise Was Offered To Sinners
When Jesus was on the cross, there were two criminals beside Him. One of the criminals hurled insults at Jesus. But the other one said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "Today you will be with me in paradise." That criminal did a lot of bad things in his life. That was why he was crucified. But Jesus was willing to overlook all the wrong that he had done. God does not condemn us for our past. He is willing to accept us as we are.
Do you feel that you need to straighten yourself out before you approach God? Jesus would say this to you.
- Mark 2:17
"And when* Jesus heard it, he says to them, Those who are strong have no need of a physician, but those who are ill. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
God wants to accept you as you are. Jesus demonstrated this when He was willing to accept the criminal who did so much wrong he was sentenced to be crucified.
Is there some sin in your life that you think God would not be willing to accept? Why don’t you confess that sin to God and ask Him to take away the guilt and condemnation.
God is good, I love you all, in Christs name, Amen and amen.