Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 233/260: The Thief on the Cross

Read Luke 23:39-43

Obey Him

When Jesus was arrested, Peter cut off the ear of Malchus. The Lord then healed the high priest’s servant’s ear and He was led away. From that point up to His death, no one else acted on His behalf. Peter began to deny knowing Him. The council condemned Him. Pilate could not find any fault in Him, but still allowed Him to be murdered. Yes, many mourned for Him, but they were powerless to do anything against the Roman government and the Jewish authorities.

When Jesus was crucified, two criminals met the same fate. One of them mocked the Lord along with the crowd. Luke records the criminal’s blasphemous statement: “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us” (Luke 23:39). The other man, though he had mocked Jesus earlier, had a change of heart. He rebuked the blasphemer, then said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 24:42). Jesus told the thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 24:43).

Even while hanging in agony, Jesus showed compassion and love for His creation. Even of those who were actively murdering Him, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 24:34).

Friends, do you know what you are doing? Are you truly engaged in Bible study and faithful obedience? There are some who deny the necessity of baptism because of the thief on the cross. This man came to an understanding of what he needed and he did what he could when he could. Do you understand your need for Jesus? If you do, do what you can while you can! You have the ability to be immersed and serve Jesus now, so do it!

By rejecting the Lord’s command when you know what He said, you are denying Him as your Savior and putting yourself in an unenviable position (John 12:48; Matthew 10:32-33). He requires baptism and faithful obedience for salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Rev. 2:10). If you do not obey Him, He will not remember you in His kingdom (Heb. 5:9).

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