The Man In The Middle
This past weekend my husband’s cousin came to visit us in Tiny House – we had a marvelous time. One of the things we did, on Saturday, was go downtown Greer. We had a fabulous lunch at Select, and then we did a walk-about. The revitalization project of Downtown Greer has been successfully achieved. The old downtown is resplendent with her cobblestone bricked street, storefronts, and lights. A very cool antique shop is called Plunder and has three stories of treasure to browse. I’m sure the things are consigned and there is a space with wonderful Faith word art.
This piece immediately caught my eye.
It is a wooden block with this scripture screened onto it. The artist took great liberty with the scripture, Luke 23.43, but I love it so much. Of course cousin Steph’ tucked it under her arm and gifted it to me later.
Crucified With Jesus
Today, I want to examine the “rebel” on the cross who ended up in Paradise with Jesus. What do we know about the two rebels crucified with Jesus. Ready? Quick review:
- There were TWO rebels. Mark 15.27
- One on Jesus’ right and one on His left. Matthew 27.38
- They both joined in the jeering and insulting of Jesus. Matthew 27. 44; Mark 15.32
- One asked for mercy. Luke 23.42
- Both of the rebels had their legs broken at the end of the day, in order to finalize their deaths. John 19.32
While there is breath, there is HOPE
Years ago a friend of a friend thought he was beyond the hope of salvation because of the sins he had committed in his life – he was on his deathbed and our friend assured him there was no sin so great that the God of all creation would not forgive him in his repentant confession. He asked the Lord Jesus to be his Redeemer – at the last minute. He died in peace, forgiven and not forsaken. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that when he took his last breath – he was immediately with his newly found Savior!
Just like the rebel crucified with Jesus.
Conviction came in the nick of time!
He may have started out jeering and insulting Jesus but his conviction came. The minute the rebel asked, “Lord, remember me when you enter Your kingdom,” his name was in the Book of Life. Just.Like.That.
The testimony of his turn-around is here:
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23.39-41
We call that death bed repentance! And, it’s a sure thing – the problem is we never know when that moment will come. No one is guaranteed a last chance opportunity –
The time is now!
Today is the day of salvation! Don’t take a chance – if you sense an urgency, a flutter in your heart, receive Jesus today! You will never be sorry!
After the rebel asked Jesus to remember him, about the noon hour, the daylight turned to blackness and some pretty phenomenal things began to happen – I can only imagine how peaceful the dying rebel felt. He knew it would not be long before he would see the Man in the middle (John 19.18) once again in heavenly places.
Jesus told him he could go…