Bible Commentary: “Second Word-Salvation” The Days Of Lent

February 15, 2016 at 9:25 am | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment
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“Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”(Luke 23:43 NIV)

“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left”(Luke 23:32-33 NIV). In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him” Matthew 27:44 NIV). One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? 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, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”(Luke 23:39-43 NIV).

Two thieves are led away to die on a cross, the possibility exists that these two were associates, robbing together across the countryside. Maybe, if they were alive today they might have made it to the top of the FBI’s most wanted list but they were caught and sentenced to death for their crimes. On the same day that they are crucified another is crucified between them, so one thief is on the right, the other is on the left and Jesus, at the highest point on the hill, is between them. Both of them seem to know Him or they learn of Him as they are dying and both begin to curse Him as they hear the others at their feet cursing Him. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long were they hanging there before this conversation begins but obviously they were there for a while.  Maybe it was an hour, perhaps two but one of the thieves has been watching Jesus as He dies and the thief notices that Jesus is different than he and his buddy. Maybe the thief starts to think that perhaps Jesus is who they say He is or maybe he just gets a revelation whatever the case one thief has a change of heart.

One thief is still using his remaining breath to revile Jesus commanding Him that if He was the Christ to save Himself and them. The thief is guilty, he knows his partner is guilty and still he demands to be saved!  The other thief realizes the intensity of this sin and rebukes his partner. “Don’t you fear God,” he tells him, “since you are under the same sentence”? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve”(Luke 23:40-41 NIV). This thief admits that he is guilty and that he deserves the punishment. Before a person can receive salvation he has to admit that he needs salvation. John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 NIV). The thief realizes the purity of Jesus, “But this man has done nothing wrong”. Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”(Luke 23:41-43 NIV).

Child of God – How far apart were these thieves from Jesus five feet, ten feet yet only one received the salvation of God, “Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees” (Psalm 119:155 NIV).  Only one was able to give Jesus thanks, “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21 NIV). Two men, both equals, both the same distance from The Savior yet only one receives Him and is accepted by him. “The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations” (Psalm 98:2 NIV). All the nations are aware of the righteousness and salvation of our God but not all have received it from Him. We need to shout like the Psalmist, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5 NIV). Then we need to proclaim it to the world!

Our prayer:
Lord, help not to grow cold to the power and loving kindness of your salvation to me. Help me to remember how great the cost of my salvation was for you. And give me a humble heart that I  always be able to admit my sins and repent and ask forgiveness to be cleansed by the power of
your blood. Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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