The bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus should make us stand in awe of the justice of God. Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. Commentary on Luke 23:32-43 Read As soon as Christ was fastened to the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him. The other was softened at the last: he was snatched as a brand out of the burning, and made a monument of Divine mercy. But a reverent word or two is permissible. On one was a dying sinner who rejected Jesus and went out into a Christ less eternity; on the other cross was a dying sinner who became a dying saint because of God's wonderful grace; and on the cross in the middle was a dying Savior who died for both of these men and for the whole world! At this moment in time, he is lost and headed to Hell! Right or wrong, praise and blame, good and bad made no difference to the first criminal — either when it comes to himself or even when it comes to Jesus.
We shall see the case to be singular, if we observe the uncommon effects of God's grace upon this man. Fourth, not only did the second criminal admit to his guilt and wrong, but he accepted his punishment as something he deserved. John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples, When one looks at the evidence, it is more reasonable to believe that this thief was converted to Christ. The calm tone of all the narratives of the Crucifixion is very remarkable. This second criminal asked knowing that Jesus could save Him. As if he is entitled to this! See also the parable of the rich man and Lazarus,. It was no accident that Jesus was crucified between two such criminals.
As we look upon him we see a man who has been steeped in sin and hardened by hatred. You have stolen from My people. Weeping must not hinder sowing. Pilate yielded at length; he had not courage to go against so strong a stream. Martyr stories are very serious about delivering what you should expect. But this is your hour , and the power of darkness.
Because of the assurance Jesus gave his companion in death, many today profess that like the thief crucified next to Jesus, we may have the assurance of Paradise by making a similar appeal to the Lord. While the Lord was experiencing the physical, emotional and perhaps even spiritual agony of the cross, he still expressed the divine nature of His love for man. By the way, not everyone who dies is at peace! He is keenly aware that he is where he is because of the path he has chosen in life. There were three crosses on Calvary. According to the Old Testament law, they were getting exactly what they deserved when they were crucified: Ex 21:23-25 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. The thief had nothing to the Lord, either before or after this hour. You need to realize that God is terribly angry both with the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit.
God so loved the world. This is grace in action. He believed in a life to come, and desired to be happy in that life; not like the other thief, to be only saved from the cross. When the sabbath draws on, there must be preparation. This is trouble for oppressors.
By Ney Reiber From Expository Files 4. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. The three taunts echo the earlier three temptations of Jesus 4:1-13. Luke tells of similar testimony from Pilate 23:4, 14, 22 and Herod 23:15. Thus he was humbled in true repentance, and he brought forth all the fruits for repentance his circumstances would admit. The Lord's answer was very striking, Remember him, who could call on him with such reverent faith at the moment of his deepest humiliation! I am sure you agree that such criminals — monsters is a better word — deserve to be punished for their crime. Observe his faith in this prayer.
He was on the cross, after all. It is a single instance in Scripture; it should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair of themselves; but lest it should be abused, it is contrasted with the awful state of the other thief, who died hardened in unbelief, though a crucified Saviour was so near him. He was counted as one of them. We can talk about Peter who denied Him. Though many reproached and reviled him, yet some pitied him.
The word implies they know exactly what they are looking at. He that hath the Son hath life and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. They look and they understand: Rome is doing what Rome does, and Jews are doing what Jews do in response: they gather, they bear witness, now and in every century. When his eyes were opened to his situation, he did the only thing he could do: he reached out to Jesus. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. He knew God as His almighty and holy Creator.
That is a given, Heb. The use of the term παράδεισος by St. He is not speaking to us face to face as he did the thief. And then, of course, there are the other times. In the second Adam we are restored to all we lost in the first Adam; and more, to a heavenly paradise instead of an earthly one. Far too many people know the truth and they know what they need to do.