And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:43 NKJV
This verse reveals God’s heart. Jesus does not care what we have done. He wants all of us to spend eternity basking in the light of His love.
Jesus came to restore the sick and lame. He came to raise the dead in trespasses and sins to eternal life. He did not come so good people could feel better about themselves. Jesus came so those of us humble enough to admit our sin could repent!
Jesus was beaten and insulted by the religious leaders as He was led to the cross. He was mocked by the Roman soldiers while He hung on it. He was crucified between two criminals. One of them spoke blasphemy against Jesus.
The women who followed Jesus wept for Him. Most of His disciples abandoned Him. In the shadow of Jesus’ death one of the criminals professed faith in the Son of God!
Everyone sins and falls short of God’s perfect plan and purpose. There are no exceptions!
The religious leaders thought they could earn their way into heaven. The Roman soldiers put their trust in the arm of flesh. Jesus’ disciples did not yet see through eyes of faith.
The criminal who mocked Jesus and hurled insults at Him may have been venting his anger at his circumstances. He was influenced by the religious leaders and Roman soldiers. He chose to remain in sin rather than repent in faith!
The repentant criminal witnessed no miracles. He heard no preaching. Jesus offered Him nothing of earthly value or creature comfort. Jesus fate seemed no better than his own.
The unnamed criminal took one of the greatest steps of faith in history. He defended Jesus. He confessed his sin. He called out in faith. What did he ask for? Eternal life with the Lord of Glory!
What did Jesus do? Jesus forgave the criminal’s sin. Jesus promised a man who was guilty of such great sin he was being executed a place in His kingdom!
Do only bad people go to heaven. Are you one of them?
If you do not know Jesus stop following the crowd. Stop blaming God for your circumstances. Quit trusting in what you can do. Call out to Jesus today!
Unbelievers are not the only people who sin. We all suffer from the same condition. The season of our Saviors victory over sin and death is the perfect time to repent!
Take a step of faith. Look at your circumstances through eyes of faith. Confess your sin. Call out to Jesus. God loves you enough to reserve a place for you in His kingdom!
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