Our scripture this week is Luke 23:33-43.
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.”
These are perhaps the two most hopeful verses of all. A condemned thief about to die confesses Jesus as Lord and Jesus forgives him. It is beyond our comprehension that He would do this, but it is what He has done for us all along.
Why would Jesus do this? He has forgiven others, telling them to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11) or that “today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9). In these lessons people are turning their lives around, but this thief on the cross next to Jesus doesn’t get a chance to do that! He’s about to die, he’ll never go to church, he’ll never spread the gospel, how is he saved? The same way we all are – through Jesus sacrifice and mercy.
Jesus is showing us that it isn’t about how much we do or how much we give, it’s all about how much He gave, how much He loved us. Jesus knows the thief is never going on a mission trip or donating for a new project. Yes, these are good things and we should keep doing them – but that’s not what saves us. Only our confession that Jesus is our Lord and Savior brings salvation, and Jesus saves those who put their faith and trust in Him, regardless of their human condition.
Loving Lord, let us all remember what it takes to be saved and pray as the thief did – Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. Amen.