Good Friday service in our church, involves short messages on each of the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross, by members of our congregation.
This year, the one message that really spoke to me was the one on Christ’s second saying on the cross “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus spoke the verse when one of the thieves says, ” Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” (Luke 23:42).
The message almost completely concentrated on the qualities of the thief. After all, if not for him, Christ wouldn’t have spoken this verse! Some of the qualities of the thief:
1. He recognized the Saviour: Though he only spent a very short time next to Christ, he recognized Him as the Saviour. Unlike the thief, there are a whole lot of us who are regularly exposed to the Bible and to Christ, yet refuse to recongnize Him as our Saviour.
2. He repented for his sins: When he recognized Christ as the Saviour, he took the next step and repented for his sins. How many of us never take this step? We believe that there will still be time to repent and accept the Lord as our Saviour.
3. He received salvation: As a result of his repentance, he was granted an immediate salvation, a personal assurance from Christ that he would be with the Lord in paradise. What an amazing gift from God!
We need to remember that God does not have any grandchildren, only children. We do not receive salvation and become God’s children because our parents have accepted the Lord as their Saviour and have received salvation. Salvation is an individual and personal affirmation from God; it is not hereditary. Isn’t it time we realized this and recognize Christ as our Saviour?
Let the cross have its impact in our lives today..