by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
44And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
47Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
48And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
49And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
There were two thieves crucified with Jesus; one on the right hand, and another on the left. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which says, "and he was numbered with the transgressors." While Jesus hung on the cross the chief priests, the scribes and the elders mocked him; so did the soldiers. They that passed by reviled him; so did they that were crucified with him. But Jesus prayed for the transgressors. He is able to save to the uttermost. And He saved one of the reviling thieves, who was crucified with him. And what an example of faith this thief! He has given us a whole confession of faith. In the first place, he warns the other thief that is crucified with him, when he had reviled the Lord. He said to him, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?" Secondly, he confesses his guilt, that he is in just condemnation. He said, "we receive the due reward of our deeds." In other words, we receive what we deserve. In the third place, he confesses the innocence (the sinlessness, if you will) of Jesus: "This man has done nothing amiss." And lastly, he believes that this man that hangs on the cross, as a criminal, is the Lord from heaven, and that He has a kingdom. And that, if He but will think of him, he will be saved. What a marvelous faith! Upon his, "Lord remember me", he receives the answer, "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
O Lord, we thank Thee for Thy marvelous grace; that there is grace enough to forgive the greatest of our sins. Though our sins are more than the hairs upon our head, with Thee is forgiveness for them all. Let all them that seek Thee rejoice, and be glad in Thee. Let such as love thy salvation, say continually, The Lord be magnified! Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Matt. 27:38; Mark 15:27, 28; Isa. 53:12; Matt. 27:41; Luke 23:36; Matt. 27:39; Mark 15:32; Isa. 53:12; Heb. 7:25; Luke 23:39-43.
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