Who is Jesus to you?
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
This is a very familiar passage of scripture, but take a minute to consider the faith of the second criminal. He feared God. The other criminal mocked Jesus, but this man knew he deserved the death sentence. He believed Jesus lived a sinless life. The criminal knew Jesus had done nothing wrong.
He believed Jesus was God’s Anointed One. He understood that one day God would send the Messiah to save His people. While others doubted, this man recognized the truth in his dying moments. He believed Jesus had the power to save him. Even though Jesus hung dying on the cross next to him, this criminal asked Jesus to remember him. Death could not prevent Jesus from receiving the kingdom God established for Him.
What about us?
Each of us deserves death because of our deeds. We cannot show contempt for God and escape His justice. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
Jesus, the sinless Son of God, has the power to save us. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) No situation, no sin, no shame is too great for His power.
Gracious Heavenly Father, give me faith like the criminal who died next to Jesus. I believe You have the power to save me. Amen
Questions: What do you learn about faith from the criminal? Where in your life do you need to experience the power of God?