“Don’t you fear God?” Luke 23:40 (NIV)
Two criminals, one on either side of Jesus, are pouring out insults on him. But then something changes…
A silence comes over one man’s soul, and perhaps for the first time in his life, he really thinks about his own position. He had skimmed through life, lived by his wits, and drifted from one thing to another, but now his life is slipping away.
Earth is receding, and eternity is beginning to loom large. It’s right on the horizon. He had not planned on this and he had not prepared for it either.
As a Jew, he’d always believed in God, but it had never made any difference in his life. Now he sees with awesome clarity that before the day is done, he’ll stand in the presence of the God that he is cursing and give an account for his life.
As these thoughts run through his mind, he hears the voice of his friend, still cursing and hurling abuse at Jesus, and he says, “Don’t you fear God?” (23:40).
Then he says to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (23:43).
A man who is right on the brink of eternal destruction is given full access to the joys and privileges of eternal life with Christ. There was hope for this man, so there is hope for you, and for every person you will ever meet.
At what points do you most relate to this man on the cross? What would keep you from doing what this man did?