Luke 23:32 “Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.”
The fact that Jesus came, and Jesus associated with the low lives is not an automatic salvation for them. The fact that Jesus has paid the price for us does not make salvation automatic. You and I need to access and receive the salvation. God show us this practically in the example of the two thieves that were crucified on the left and on the right sides of Jesus. These two criminals even in death, were given equal opportunity for salvation. However, it was their responses that determined what they got, not their proximity to Jesus.
Luke 23:39 “One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” 40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” How are you responding? We need to guard our hearts particularly when we are faced with cross situations. The beautiful thing is that God is still sending goodness our way, but the state of our heart determines what we see and how we respond to God’s goodness.
At that point, what was most relevant was not what He had done. Jesus did not ask Him why he was being crucified. Take note that Jesus only responded to him when he asked for forgiveness and Jesus offered him salvation. Note also that the salvation was not offered to him because he defended Jesus or because he rebuked the other thief that was scoffing at Jesus. One criminal asked for forgiveness and received salvation. But the other one mocked Jesus and asked for a jail break. One was saved, and one was not. What are you asking for? The fact that Jesus came to the world for us is a big deal. However, we still have the responsibility of responding to Jesus; admitting our wrong doing, acknowledging that we need a Saviour, believing in Him and receiving Him. It is those that respond to Jesus that get saved. Those that do not respond to Him do not get saved.
The beauty about stories like this in the Bible is that God gives us an assurance of His heart towards us. We can clearly see from the example of these two men two different routes and the corresponding destination. However, we have an assurance that when we come, the Bible says, He will in no wise cast all who come to Him. How are you responding to Jesus?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I open the door of my life to You, come and have Your way, come and take Your place as Lord and Saviour forever, in Jesus Name. Amen!