What a thief found at Calvary

by Rick Brentlinger
(Pace, FL, USA)

With which thief do you identify?

With which thief do you identify?

With which thief do you identify?

Our text is the Gospel of Luke 23:32-43.

32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
- the King James Version

On the most awful day in history, two thieves suffered, crucified alongside Jesus. Both thieves watched the Savior on the center cross as He suffered God's wrath for their sins in His own body on the tree, 1 Peter 2:24. Both thieves were justly condemned - they deserved the death penalty. Both thieves were close enough to speak directly to Jesus. If you were in that situation, what would YOU say to Jesus?

The soldiers gambled,
Psalm 22:18

The crowd laughed,
Psalm 22:7

The rulers mocked,
Psalm 22:8

The Gentile dogs watched,
Psalm 22:16

The powers of darkness taunted,
Psalm 22:12-13

The devil gloated,
Psalm 22:21, 1 Pet 5:8

One thief faced death with an insolent scowl and cast his lot with the mockers who derided Jesus. The other thief faced death realistically and asked Jesus for mercy. Everyone reading this IS in the place of one of those thieves. You can mock and laugh and ignore the claims of Christ on your life. Or you can repent, ask Jesus for mercy and get saved.

What did a thief
find at Calvary?

  1. He found himself a sinner in the presence of God, v. 41; Hebrews 2:1-3, Galatians 6:7. You must understand that you are lost before you can understand the need to get saved. And to get saved, you must know that Jesus is God - that is the most basic fact which makes Christianity different from all other beliefs.

  2. He found himself an eyewitness to the gospel of grace, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Romans 10:9-10, 13.

  3. He found in Jesus his only hope of salvation, v. 42; John 14:6, Acts 4:12. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, Psalm 22:31.

  4. He found a Savior he had never imagined, vs. 40-41; Hebrews 7:25, and soon thereafter, a bliss to enjoy for all eternity.

  5. He found a Lord he had never believed, John 8:44, Acts 16:16-17, 1 Corinthians 8:5. Salvation is as simple as look and live but you must look in order to live, John 3:14-16.

  6. He found a life that will never end, v. 43; John 3:16, 21, 36, Philippians 1:21-23. Two thieves died next to Jesus. One needlessly (2 Peter 2:1) went to hell, out into a Christ-less eternity because he was too proud to trust the Savior Who died beside him. The other thief has spent the last 2000 years rejoicing and enjoying fellowship with Christ Jesus in heaven.

  7. He found a liberty he had never known, v. 42; Luke 4:18, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Romans 5:1-3. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36.

  8. He found a love he had never enjoyed, v. 43; 1 John 3:1-2. Popular songs, novels, movies are all about love. Everyone is searching for love, usually in all the wrong places. Have you found the love of Jesus?

  9. He found a security he could never lose, v. 43; John 10:27-29, Hebrews 2:11, Psalm 18:24, Romans 8:31-39. "Who can separate us from the love of Christ?" Romans 8:35. Nothing on earth and nothing in heaven.

  10. He found a lawyer he had never hired, 1 John 1:9, 2:1-2, Hebrews 7:25. Our advocate has never lost a case. Think about that until it grips your heart and soul and chases you onto shouting ground!

  11. He found salvation from terrible judgment, Revelation 20:11-15. In the great day of God's wrath, Christians are safe in the arms of Jesus. Have you found peace in your heart in Jesus? Have you cast your lot with Jesus as your Savior? Which thief made the wise choice on crucifixion day?

    Will you receive Jesus as your Savior today?

There Is A Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains,
lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away,
washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God
be saved to sin no more.
Be saved to sin no more,
be saved to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die,
and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave,
lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared,
unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward,
in God's eternity!
’Tis all prepared thru endless years,
by grace and grace alone,
A place within my Father's house,
eternal happy home.
-William Cowper, 1731-1800

Would you like to know Jesus?

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This page updated on January 14, 2016

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