The Man In The Middle
One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!" But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Don't you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." He said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." Jesus said to him, "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:39-43 WEB.
Three men were nailed to wooden crosses and raised high in the air, naked and exposed for all to see. There, they slowly died. The two men on the sides were thieves, while the Man in the middle was Jesus Christ. While they hung there, one of the thieves had a change of heart. With only minutes left in his life, he made things right with God. Jesus told him: "Today, you will be with Me in paradise."
In Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote: "But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart;" that is, the word of faith which we preach: that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed." (Romans 10:8'10 WEB).
That is what the thief did. He saw Jesus as a King, then he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. But what did the thief's family think? He had lived his life as a villain, robbing and stealing from others. He met his end with capital punishment. You can bet his family and friends thought this man went to hell, but he didn't.
If you have lost a loved one who was not right with God, take hope, knowing that God is merciful. He is gracious. Even if they had seconds left and whispered a prayer, they are probably living happily in paradise. Only God knows who will be there and who will not.
If you are reading this, know that Jesus is still the Man in the middle. He stands in the gap for us. If you turn to Him, you will be saved, but it is a choice that only you can make. Both thieves had Jesus beside them. They both had the opportunity, but one man remained lost at the end of the day while the other was saved. This choice is yours to make and yours alone.Prayer: Jesus, if it was not too late for the thief on the cross, then I believe it is not too late for me. Come into my life and be my Lord today. I choose You. Please forgive me for my mistakes, help me learn from them, and live a good life for You from this day on. In Your name, I pray. Amen!
Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org