Bible Reading: 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 do 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.” Luke 23:33-43
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary. For us, Jesus suffered a horrific death that is indescribable - “they crucified Him.” Crucifixion was a standard “death penalty” practiced among the Romans. Crucifixion was often performed to discourage its witnesses from committing particular crimes. Victims were left on display after death as warnings to others who might attempt dissent. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful, gruesome, humiliating, and public. The movie, The Passion of The Christ, provides a great visual to the gruesomeness recorded in this verse.
The other three gospels also contain a narrative of the Calvary scene (Matthew 27, Mark 15, John 19), but only Luke records the words of the criminals, who were crucified with Christ. It is that short conversation between Jesus and the “other criminal” that we have assurance of life eternal with Jesus. This criminal put his trust and faith in Jesus. Jesus responded, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Paul put it this way in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If you have not put your trust in Jesus, there’s no better time than now. If you have put your trust in Jesus, then there is no better time than now to share the Good News with another than right now.
This is “Being and Making Disciples”.
Memory Verse: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14.6