The Thief, the King, and the Cross

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #10 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT — Luke 23:39-43: “When they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left…And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

When a prominent man dies, we are anxious to find out what his last words and actions were. We see in this passage that the last act of the Son of God was to save a sinner. Jesus Christ saved this thief just as he stood at the edge of the precipice of death. This thief was on the very border of hell, and Christ snatched him from the claws of Satan.

What is it that saved this thief who was nailed to the cross, his blood dripping away, his life slowly fading? Some people say there are things you must do before you can be saved. Yet this thief did nothing at all to be saved. He just hung there and died. Some people say it takes time to be saved. Yet this thief had no time. He was on the verge of death. In just a couple of hours, a Roman soldier would come and break his legs to make sure he was dead. Yet, this thief was saved.

In the short time this thief was hanging on the cross, we can see from this story three things that happened that allowed Jesus Christ to say to this thief, “Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”

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