He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Are you one or the other?

Luke 23:33-43
When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, 'Father, forgive them: for they do not know what they are doing.' And they cast losts, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying 'He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.' The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying 'If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!' Now there was also an inscription above Him, 'THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.'

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, 'Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!' But the other answered, and rebuking him said, 'Do you not even fear God, since we are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.' And he was saying, 'Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!' And He said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'
Jesus was crucified with two thieves, One, and The Other, if you like. One was hanging on the right and was hurling abuse at Jesus. He thinks he should be saved, and he isn't. The Other was hanging on the left. He rebuked One. He didn't think he should be saved and he was.

Like so many, One was within shouting distance of his salvation, and he missed it.

The Other had done bad things, yet he was saved at the last minute - a bitter pill for many clean-living people to swallow. Yet he realised that Christ has a Kingdom, death is not the end, and that he could be with Him in paradise.

So how did The Other find his salvation?

  1. He acknowledged God. (v. 40)
  2. He recognised his sin. (v. 41)
  3. He asked! (v.42)

And that's all we have to do too. We can be One man, and become The Other in Christ.

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