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The Passion of the Christ (2 of 7)
Salvation: The Most Essential Word
Last week we spoke about the most beautiful word Jesus uttered from the cross, which is the world forgiveness. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Today, I want to talk about the second word uttered from the cross, the greatest concept uttered from the cross, the salvation the most essential word.
Luke 23:39-43 "Then one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, 'If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us.' But the other answering rebuked him saying, 'Dost thou not 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 when thou comest into thy kingdom.' And Jesus said unto him, 'Verily I say unto thee, today thou shalt be with me in paradise.'"
Now here is one of the most wonderful examples of God's grace in all the bible. Here is a man who died along side Jesus, a man who was a criminal and a thief, a man who probably had not given any of his thought to spiritual things, a man who had lived his life outside the law, a man who had lived his life stealing from others, hurting others, robbing others, living against all the principles of the word of God, and yet a man who on his deathbed as it were, was given an opportunity in the last moments of his life, literally in the last breath of his life, to be saved and to go to heaven. What an example that is of the grace of God. That even then, when a person would call upon the name of Jesus, even in his last breath, that God's love is so great and His mercy so deep that He would reach down to a man like that and give him the opportunity to forgive his sins and have salvation and eternal life. You know there is one example of a deathbed conversion in all the bible and this is it. There is one, only one, one so that none would despair ...
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