Friday, October 22, 2021
38 Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
40-41 But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”
-Luke 23:38-43 The Message
Verse 38: Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Verse 38 study: The inscription is ironic because a king who had lost his kingdom forever was stripped and executed in the public’s eyes. Jesus turned the world’s wisdom upside down and was coming into his kingdom. The death and resurrection would strike a death blow to Satan’s rule and establish Christ’s authority over Earth. Only a few people that read the sign understood it, but the sign stood steadfast. All was not lost; Jesus is King of the Jews, Gentiles, and the whole universe.
Verse 39: One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
Verse 40: But the other responded, and rebuking him, said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation
Verse 41: And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our crimes; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
Verse 42: And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”
Verse 43: And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Verses 39-43 studies: As a man was about to die, he turned to Christ for forgiveness, and Christ accepted him. Deeds don’t save us; our faith does. It’s never too late to turn to Christ. Even in misery, Jesus had mercy on a criminal who decided to believe in him. Our lives are helpful and fulfilling if we go to God early, but those who repent at the last moment will be with God in paradise.
Verses 42-43 studies: The dying criminal had more faith than the rest of Jesus’ followers. The disciples love Jesus, but their hopes for the kingdom are shattered. Most of them went into hiding. Two days later, one of his followers said, “We were helping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel (24:21). The criminal looked at the man who was dying and said, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” The kingdom was finished by all appearances. His inspiration is the faith of this man who saw beyond the present shame to the coming glory.
Father, it is never too late to ask for forgiveness. It is not too late to follow and believe. I pray that those who think that it is too late understand that it is not. Let us speak truth and wisdom to those who are misled. In Jesus’ name. Amen!