In Luke 23:32-43, we get the recorded account of Jesus being crucified on the cross along with two criminals. The people and rulers watching the execution mocked Jesus saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself”. One of the criminals being executed wanted Jesus to use His power to save them. The other criminal criticized him saying, “We are being punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But Jesus has done nothing wrong (v. 41).”
In studying the attitudes of the two criminals, one is seeking deliverance from death in this world. The other is accepting that he will die physically but is seeking deliverance from eternal death and for gaining eternal life in paradise. He said to Jesus, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom (v. 42).” Jesus answers him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise (v. 43).”
Those that seek only rewards of this world are impenetrable to the gospel. Like the criminal that wanted deliverance from death in this world, many look at things like money, cars, vacations, etc. as the ultimate rewards in life but Jesus teaches about rewards that last forever like our relationship with God and the moments when we make a positive impact in the lives of others.
This day with You Father God, we seek Your eternal reward in paradise. Our victory comes from You. Knowledge and faith in this victory changes momentum for our days ahead and it is a gift we can share with others. The Cross is a plus sign for us and our mission is clear … share about this plus sign with others. Amen!