“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Jesus there, along with the criminals – one on His right, the other on His left.” Luke 23:33
Above the insults and jeers of the crowd, one weary voice rises. It’s a simple, two-word plea from a man who knows he doesn’t deserve the grace of God, and surely does not have time to try and earn it – even if that was possible. “Remember me.” Christ’s answer to the thief dying at His side held more glory than he could have ever known in that moment. It’s the only time in the Bible that we read of someone being saved right before he dies. In granting this man’s dying plea, Jesus showed us two things about the saving grace of God. First, it is never too late to come to Christ; and second, true faith is all that is required for our salvation.
This criminal had nothing to offer Jesus in exchange for His grace. He had no good works, no baptismal certificate, no church membership, and no offering receipt. Perhaps, most notably, he had no time to offer Jesus – no time to “live for Jesus.” All he could offer was belief; and in exchange he was forgiven and gloriously saved. In every way that matters, he did not die on that day, but instead was given eternal life with Christ.
I believe there is great significance in the three crosses found at Calvary. Have you ever wondered why Jesus was crucified in the center of these two criminals? He could have easily been put on the left or right rather than in the middle. The picture painted by the three crosses is no coincidence. Those two criminals represent the entire human race, because the world ultimately is not divided geographically, racially, economically, or even politically. The cross of Jesus Christ divides us all. On one side are those who accept Jesus and on the other side are those who reject Him. Each of us must make the choice as to which side of the cross we will die on. My prayer for you is that you will make the right choice. Place your faith in Christ and receive the gift of His grace. It is the best decision you will ever make.
God, I know that there is nothing I can offer you for salvation except for my belief in You. Thank You for Your grace, which promises me that this is enough. Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins so that I, like the thief on the cross, can receive salvation. Amen.