Luke 23:42-43 New Living Translation – Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
JESUS GIVES THE GIFT OF SALVATION.
Here we see the greatest picture of the gift of Salvation being given to one who was not deserving. It is a picture of GRACE!
Consider the following:
• The man needed to be saved.
• In faith he calls on Jesus.
• Jesus assures him of heaven.
• He did not deserve it. God gave it to him!
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
This picture plays itself out into our very world today. There are those who are ready to receive Jesus and those who are not! But every man has his chance! Jesus is still ready to give the gift; the gift of Salvation!
THERE WERE TWO THIEVES, EACH WITH A DIFFERENT REQUEST.
THIEF 1 – ‘Save Yourself and us!’ A selfish prayer with a twist of bitterness. This man just wanted to live a little longer so that he could continue doing what he had been doing!
THIEF 2 – ‘Remember me!’ This man understood and grasped the reality that eternity lay ahead and he wanted to be part of it! He had a revelation of who Jesus really was and he made it clear when he said: ‘But this man has done nothing wrong.’ (Luke 23:41)
This thief realized that Jesus knew no sin and was in fact the Son of God and understood that HE alone could truly save him.
I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’ This man came and Jesus received him! That is the truth about Jesus Christ! There is no doubt in what Jesus said. He knew this man would die. Then He said these words: ‘YOU WILL BE WITH ME!’
But Jesus was with him! They were hanging together on crosses. They were dying together. What Jesus was saying was that there was something that would follow this earthly existence, another dimension. There is another dimension just outside of your earthly existence! This is a picture of eternity. To be WITH GOD forever is what you and I were designed and destined for!
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