by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Remember Me (7 of 9)
Series: Whose Line Is It?
Jeff Strite
Luke 23:38-43

OPEN: A minister was talking to a professing Christian and asked him if he was active in his local Church. The man responded, "No, but the dying thief wasn’t active in a local Church and he was still accepted".
The minister then asked if the man had been baptized. He said, "No, but the dying thief wasn’t baptized, and still went to Heaven".
The minister then asked if the man had partaken of the Lord’s Table. The man said, "No, but the dying thief never took of the Lord’s Table, and still went to Heaven".
The minister said, "The difference between the dying thief and you is that the thief was dying in his belief, and you are dead in yours".

APPLY: The story of the thief on the cross is one of the most powerful stories in all of the Gospels. Here we have Jesus crucified between two thieves. Two sinners. Two men who, by their own admission, deserved to die on that day.

This is a powerful story, because it was a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy from Isaiah 53. Speaking of the coming messiah, God declared:
“…he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12b

It was no coincidence that WHEN Jesus died, He died between two convicted sinners. And it was no coincidence that He was willing and able to grant forgiveness to the one criminal that repented.

There are forceful images here:
One criminal dies with curses on His lips
Another one dies with the promise of hope in his heart

One author described the setting this way: Three Crosses stood on Golgotha’s brow that April. On one, a thief died IN sin and was lost. On another cross, a thief died TO sin and was saved. On the third cross, a Lamb died FOR sin, and was the Son of God.

This whole scene speaks of the love and power of Jesus that He forgave even the worst of sinners and did that at the last mo ...

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