Three crosses standing in parallel to each other against the sunset.

Introduction

The persecutors of Jesus were determined to heap discredit and infamy upon his memory. Therefore they crucified two robbers with him. One of the robbers was crucified at his right and the other at his left. A conversation broke out between Jesus and these robbers.

Read Luke 23:39-43

1. The First Robber

A. Just like the onlookers he too questioned Jesus’ divinity and challenged his identity.

B. Just like the other robber this man too was a social outcast, a sinner, and running out of time.

C. Both robbers were very close to their salvation. But this man, unlike his companion missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

2. The Second Robber

A., Unlike the first robber, this man confessed to being a sinner, was truly repentant, and acknowledged his need for a savior.

B. Confessed Jesus’ innocence and recognized Jesus is no mere pretender and that he will reign as King.

C. In return, he received the assurance that he need not wait for any future event but that he would have an immediate reunion with Jesus in “Paradise”.

3. Dying Jesus

A. The words Jesus spoke to the dying robber regardless of his excruciating pain are an indicator of his unfailing love.

B. He made the effort to repress his own pain in order to answer to the needs of another sinner.

C. A Demonstration of his determination to rescue sinners from eternal damnation even in the last minute of his life on earth.

Application

A. The writer penned the actions of the first robber as a warning. We can be so close to salvation and still miss it, (Matthew 7:21-23)

B. The short and the simple confession of the second robber imply that genuine repentance is not marked by an abundance of words. Rather a transformed heart, (Matthew 21:28-32)

C. Unfortunately, unlike the dying robber, most of us have only encountered the power of Jesus. Not his love. Let us seek to have not only a power encounter but experience his unfailing love as well.


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