Salvation on a cross?
In this passage either Jesus lied or we have a big misconception if the salvation process- Which is it?
Please read Luke 23:39-43
Vs. 39 “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Beautiful picture of the moment of salvation here! CHRIST was crucified between two criminals for two reasons.
First so that prophecy could be fulfilled but a second reason I believe is to show us the way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Notice there was no sinner’s prayer or baptism for the thief on the cross- no hoops to jump through- why is that?
In vs. 39 one of the criminals taunted JESUS and said, “Are you not the Messiah? Save
yourself and us!” to which JESUS didn’t defend HIMSELF but the other criminal did!
In vs. 40 the other criminal made a public statement about who Jesus was and the fact that he (the criminal) deserved punishment. Vs. 40,
“Do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds but this man has done nothing wrong.”
After this the criminal looks at Jesus and says, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus response here is fantastic,
“Truly I tell you this day you will be with me in Paradise.”
The criminal who went to Paradise with Jesus first proclaimed that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and then said he himself deserved the punishment he was getting for his deeds.
When you and I deserve punishment for our deeds we are sinners except for one big change and that change is Jesus.
Tell me which makes you more grateful to God and therefore causes a deeper relationship with Him:
Holiness based on His sacrifice that I don’t deserve and could never hope to earn! (Grace)
Holiness based on works and keeping the law and the fear that if I screw up HE will zap me with thunder bolts! (Law)
The choice is yours but the outcome is sure.
Don’t worry Be Grace-Full!!