And Jesus said to him, ” Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
In the world which we live in today, we often talk of “rights” of certain people, groups or even animals. Nations and societies, communities and families are often divided by those who has a sense of “entitlement” – “I deserve something out of life” or “Life owes me this much”.
The account of the Crucifixion of Jesus, where the 2 criminals were crucified alongside Jesus, shows 2 entirely opposite attitudes between that two. The 1st criminal mocked Jesus in unbelief, the 2nd criminal held a completely differing view. The first demonstrates a sense of “entitlement”, feeling no remorse for the crimes he was convicted of. The 2nd man, however, made no excuse for his crimes, truly convicted of his sins and agreed that what he had done was deserving of death. In that place of remorse, perhaps more than that – repentance, he found grace so amazing on the Cross. Grace was immediate, life eternal was instantaneous to a repentant sinner, no matter how great the sin.
How do we fully understand and appreciate grace? I believe only when we look upon ourselves in great honesty before a Holy God, then we will find ourselves in the presence and embrace of a loving Father. When acknowledge our own failings without making any excuses, then we enter into undeserved privileges as that of a son. How amazing this grace is! We need only to reach out in faith and in humility and it is ours to obtain. Because that extension of the grace of God has already been offered from the nail-pierced hands of Jesus.
“Today, you will be with me in Paradise” – where Jesus is as Ruler and Son.