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 WEB
Three men were nailed to wooden crosses and raised high in the air, naked and exposed for all to see, while they slowly died. The ones on the sides were thieves, while the Man in the middle was Jesus Christ. While they hung there, one of the thieves began to repent, and 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 scripture reads: 'The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart'. It is speaking of the word of faith which we preach. 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).
That is what the thief did, he believed that Jesus was coming into His kingdom as a King, then he asked Jesus to remember him. But what did the thieves family think? He had lived his life as a villain, robbing and stealing from others, and then he died by capital punishment. You can bet that 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, and even if they had seconds left and whispered a prayer, they will be waiting 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. 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, and both of them had the opportunity, but one man remained lost, while one man was saved. This choice is yours, and yours alone.Prayer: Jesus if it was not too late for the thief on the cross, then it is not too late for me. Come into my life and be my Lord today. I choose You. Please forgive me of my mistakes, help me learn from them and to live a life that is pleasing to You from this day on.
Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org