Beside Still Waters: The Thief on the Cross

Therese Apel

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
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.” – Luke 23:40-43
We live in a world where people just don’t want to admit they’re wrong. They don’t want to be told they’re wrong, and they surely don’t want to just own up to it.
Nobody believes in giving grace anymore. Look online. Everyone piles on to destroy someone they’ve never met over a headline that might or might not be part of an incorrect narrative. But they don’t care. While they would ask for grace, they’re dead set on not giving it.
But do you see the eternal power of owning your mistakes? Just admitting that he deserved his punishment and then asking Jesus to remember him got the thief on the cross into Heaven for eternity.
There is healing power in admitting guilt. There is restoration in taking ownership of the things we’ve done wrong, because just like when you have cancer, if you don’t acknowledge it, it will kill you. Guilt is like that.
There is also healing power in giving grace. It’s saying, “You know what? Your human soul is worth more than my stupid grudge.” (Or in God’s case, his justifiable punishment.)
Guilt and sin can affect you on so many levels both worldly and eternal. What that thief on the cross did was refuse to let his guilt stand between he and His savior. The other criminal was mocking and bitter, but the first had resigned himself to his consequences and simply asked God not to forget him. And Jesus immediately forgave and insured his eternity.
It’s that simple. Own up to your human nature and look Jesus in the face and ask Him for His mercy. See how wide He opens the doors for you.
That’s grace. ❤️

Share this Article


Related Articles