Daily Archives: April 3, 2016
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” – Luke 23:43
The second of the seven utterances of our LORD on the Cross. It is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. All the thief asks from our LORD is, “Lord, remember me.” But Jesus says, today you will be with Me in Paradise. Yes, we may pray for less, based on our understanding; but the LORD gives more than we can imagine.
The thief did not do any good works before and he had no chance to do any good works after. Yet, he became the first believer who was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. I am not against good works, per se. But saying that we will not be saved unless we do good works is against the Gospel of our Lord. Must a Christian do good works? Yes, we must, because we are saved. Because we are the children of a loving God. Not the other way around.
This thief is the best example of saved by faith, through the grace of our LORD. Apostle Paul puts it beautifully in his epistle to Romans. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. – Romans 4:5
And I pray that I have the faith of this thief. Yes, I have faith; but do I have the faith of this thief?
- Here is a man, hanging on a cross, condemned to death and has no hope left for anything in his life. Yet he believes.
- And he turns around and sees another Man, nailed to the Cross, and vilified by everyone who had assembled to watch His crucifixion. They are not mocking the two thieves, but they are hurling insults after insults at this Man.
- There are only few people who are in support of this Man, and they are weeping, unable to help Him in anyway. From the viewpoint of this thief, the position of Jesus Christ has to be worse than his position. Yet, he calls Jesus as ‘Lord’.
- Everyone is saying, “Come on, Jesus, if You are the King, save yourself now.” Yet, the thief says, “Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom…”
- When there is no hope even for Jesus at the darkest hour, the thief believed in Jesus. Yet here I am. Jesus is not nailed to the Cross now. He is seated at the right hand of God our Father. When there is no hope for some problems in my life, I lose my faith in Jesus, my King.
- And the thief says, “Lord, remember me…” and when things go wrong, I cry, “Lord, why have You forgotten me?”
I have faith. But do I have the faith of the thief? I certainly don’t. And at this moment, my humble prayer is, “LORD, give me that faith. Since You are the Author and the Perfecter of faith, please give me that simple faith that thief had.”