One man died with guilt IN him and ON him. A second man died with guilt IN him but NOT ON him, and the third died with guilt ON Him, but not in Him.
1. One died with sin IN him and ON him: the first of two thieves executed that day. He seems to be an angry man, probably angry with himself for getting caught; angry with the judge who sentenced him; angry with the man named Jesus who hung innocently at his side.
2. One died with sin IN him but NOT ON him: The second thief at first joined in the ridicule and insult towards Jesus, but as the darkness set in, he had a change of attitude. “We are punished justly, but this Man has done nothing wrong”. He asks Jesus to remember him in His kingdom.
- This may be one of the 10 most important conversations ever recorded.
- The few words show what the rest of the New Testament declares. Forgiveness of sins and eternal life is given to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.
- Faith alone in Christ alone determines our eternal destiny.
- The Judge of the heavens lifted the guilt from the second thief’s shoulders, placing it instead on Jesus, our sin-Bearer.
This is our story. We were there because God was there - in our place, bearing our sins. We were there because all of us will respond either as the first or second thief.
WORDS don’t make the difference; FAITH does!
As we celebrate Easter, may this be your blessed assurance as, together, we know and serve our risen Saviour.
Hallelujah, He lives!