40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Second, the thief on the cross realized Jesus was completely innocent. He says, “this man hath done nothing amiss.” Pilate, under whom Jesus was crucified, also attested to the innocence of Jesus (Luke 23:4). Jesus was completely sinless; He was hanging on the cross as payment for the sins of the world. He became sin for us so that we could receive God’s righteousness in our lives. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Third, the thief on the cross trusted his future into the hands of Jesus. He placed his trust in Christ as the only one who could save him in the future afterlife; the thief recognized Jesus was “King” and that Jesus had a “Kingdom”. Jesus’ response was ‘today, thou shalt be with me in paradise’.
Friend – gaining heaven is only a few words away. The most important decision you can make is to trust Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior; just like there were no works the thief could do, so too there is nothing you can do to save yourself. Being baptized, going to church, reading the Bible, or giving money to the ministry are all commendable actions. They cannot save anyone! What saves us and causes us to become children of God? Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
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