The last few days I've been reflecting on the words that Jesus spoke just before he died, "It is Finished!" In that reflection I realize and came across the conversation with the two thieves that are being crucified with Him.
Luke 23: 33-43
"When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, 'Father, forgive them; for they don not know what they are doing.' And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, 'He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.' The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, 'If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!' Now there was also an inscription above Him, "This IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, 'Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!' But the other answered, and rebuking him said, 'Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.' And he was saying, 'Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!' And He said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'"
I don't know exactly when or how but the older I get I realize how much less its me in my faith and more God. I realize how much of a sinner I am and how much I don't deserve the gift of salvation which drives me to my knees in humility and make me thank God for the price He paid on the cross for my sins so that I may have eternal life. In other gospels it depicts that both criminals are hurling abuses at Christ. Its commentated that the one began with abuse and after time realized who he was being crucified next to... "God". I have had years to come to this realization when one of the thieves came to this conclusion within hours to realize his depravity and his need for a Saviour.
The two thieves are examples for us of two different types of people in the world. The unbeliever who is blind to their their sin. Who hurls accusations at God with anger of why their life has turned out the way it has and for God to take them out of their dreadful situation ("Save yourself and us!")even though it was a consequence of their sinful life.
Than we have the other person who realizes that when they compare their life next to God's that they are a sinner in need of a Saviour and with only the sacrifice of the Saviour will they inherit eternal life.
Being that today is Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified, may we be reflective as we go into the Easter weekend that it wouldn't be just a time of eating chocolate bunnies and coloring hard boiled eggs BUT it would be a time of reflection of what Christ did for you so that He can say to you, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."
Which thief are you?