Luke 23: 33-43
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right , the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
One of the criminals spoke well when he said that he was getting what he deserved. We all deserve a death sentence for we have all sinned. Christ, who knew no sin, became our punishment for sin by his death on the cross. So sad to say, but many today are like the other criminal who do deserve death and still will not acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, their only hope. Will you be reconciled to God, the Father of all creation, by his son Jesus Christ?
Father thank you for giving us a life filled with your love, grace and hope through your son Jesus the Christ. Help us to be saved from our death sentence because of the guilt of sin and to be reconciled with you. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.