Friday, March 18, 2016
“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42,43 KJV).
How did this repentant thief know who Jesus was?
“And 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” (verse 33). By the way, you must have a King James Bible to read of “Calvary” here. Modern English versions remove the term—you cannot sing or teach about “Calvary’s cross” if your Bible never says anything about it!
During Jesus’ crucifixion, He was subjected to much taunting and laughter. The common Jews mocked Him, so did their religious leaders and the Roman soldiers. Even the two crucified thieves criticized Him as a fraud. Verses 34-39: “ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.  And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided [ridiculed] him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.  And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,  And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.  And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”
Later, one of the thieves had a change in heart (see today’s Scripture): “ 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.” Evidently, the thief read the superscription and believed it, and Jesus Christ guaranteed his soul salvation! “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise!”