A Tale of Two Men
There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left…. Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23: 32-33, 39-43 (NKJV)
The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Matthew 27:44 (KJV)
As Jesus hung on the cross, there were two thieves crucified with Him, one on each side of Him. And they both threw insults at Him, much like people do today. There are still those who reject and hurl insults in the face of Jesus. Both men began by insulting Jesus, but one eventually changed his mind. Jesus being crucified in the middle of them is a picture of Him being the dividing line. We can choose to accept Jesus or reject Him.
Both men had the same choice to make; one accepted Jesus and the other rejected Him. One repented and the other did not. One humbled himself, and the other did not. One saw his opportunity and accepted it, while the other missed the opportunity of a lifetime.
One thief asked Jesus to remember him when he came into His Kingdom, which indicates that he chose to believe that Jesus was Who he said He was. He made the decision to accept Jesus as his Savior. He knew he deserved his punishment but he realized that Jesus did not. In his simple prayer, his eternal destiny was redirected. As each man was hanging on the cross, he struggled for every breath, so his prayer was short- but it was enough. Jesus promised that he would be accepted into paradise that very day. One man got in, while the other chose to miss out.
Jesus is still the dividing line between life and death, heaven and hell. Jesus left the choice up to you and me. And we only have a certain window of time to make our decision, just as the two thieves did. Choose you this day whom you will serve. Today is the day of salvation. Time is passing quickly and this opportunity is for a limited time. Don’t miss your chance to accept Jesus. It’s your choice.
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you can be born again right now. Just say this simple prayer out loud with sincerity:
“Jesus, I believe You died for me. I believe God raised You from the dead. I turn away from sin and the devil, and I accept You as my Lord and Savior. I give you my life and I choose to follow You. I thank you that I am saved and headed for heaven. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and make me who You want me to be. I thank you for it. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer you are born again and you will live for all eternity with Jesus. Praise the Lord, what a wonderful destination and what a wonderful reward awaits us there!