Luke 23 v 39 One of the criminals who hang there hurled insults at Him “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us.”
Our Uncommon King now hangs as a common criminal on the cross. He has two malefactors with Him, one on each side. Crucifixion was a standard and terrible procedure for the worst of criminals, people the Romans regarded as the scum of the earth. No Roman citizen was permitted to be crucified.
How blind people are, even today, in thinking that if you kill your opponent, you kill the argument. Even in our own age of violence we see this in various places around the globe.
But to kill Jesus was to fulfil all He came to do, nevertheless the two thieves on either side illustrate for us right to the end how there will always be two camps –the “anti-God camp” and the believing camp.
Both men had the same opportunities but only one had his eyes opened to see who Jesus was and believed in Him. He is also an example for many of us who think we are unworthy and wish we could do more for Him. The saved thief could do nothing. Utterly nothing, except believe on Jesus with all his heart. On that basis he was accepted. His companion, cynical and defiant was lost.
Matthew Henry says that one of these thieves was saved, only one that none my despair, but one was lost that none might presume.
Meditation: Do you presume you are going to Heaven after death? Why?