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THE WORLDS LUCKIEST THIEF


Three men were hanging on those Roman crosses,enduring the worst torture known to man.After being beaten nearly to death,they had nails driven through their hands and feet in such a way that they hung from the nails in a way that required them to raise themselves on the nails in order to get a breath.This went on throughout the day,and since this was Wednesday and this Wednesday at sundown began a "high sabbath",they could look forward to having their legs broken at the end of the day.With broken legs they could no longer raise themselves to breath and thus died from suffocation.
So how were any of these three lucky?I picture Jesus in the center with a thief on either side.Thief number one mocks Jesus,Luke 23 vs 39,saying,"if thou be Christ,save thyself and us".The other thief rebuked him in verse 40 and 41 saying"do you not fear GOD? This man has done nothing amiss but we receive the just reward for our deeds".He then said"LORD,remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom".This was all the man said and even that must have cost him terrible pain.
So,how is this man lucky?Look at what Jesus said in verse 43."And Jesus said unto him;verily I say unto thee,To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. And that folks,is salvation straight from the mouth of our Savior. So,let's review what the thief did ,and did not do.He never went to church,was never baptized,never tithed,never helped the poor,never "spoke in tongues"nor did any of the things some Christians depend on today.What he did was the same four things we do today to obtain salvation.
He recognized that he was a sinner;"we receive the just reward for our deeds"
He recognized that Jesus was the Son of God;vs 42 he called Jesus "Lord".
He asked for it;"Lord,remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom"
And finally,he made it public.In his case just by the fact that he was hanging on a cross,in public,where everyone could see and hear.Today we usually make it public by joining a local church. These four things worked for the thief two thousand years ago and they work for us today.
Finally,the verse almost everyone knows,John 3 vs 16.For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,but have everlasting life.