Can you imagine being just moments from death…and knowing it.
That describes the thieves that were crucified along with Jesus.
While our are hearts are heavy as we reflect on the horrible ordeal of our Lord, Jesus we do not worry about–we know he was prepared to face eternity.
But the thieves…these we worry about.
We have no way of knowing how long they were on death row. Probably not long, justice and injustice both were swift in those days. I doubt they got their favorite meal the evening before either.
One day they were immersed in a life of crime and then time ran out. The heavy hand of Roman justice caught them in it’s clutches and now they were being executed for crimes against society and more importantly–Roman law.
Picture them, moments away from leaving this world and facing a holy and righteous God unprepared. But one, like a surprise squeeze bunt in the bottle of the ninth that manufactures a victory right from the jaws of defeat, escaped hell and entered paradise.
The question is how?
The only thing I can figure is the example of Jesus.
The dying thief saw how Jesus was dying. He heard the prayers Jesus prayed for his enemies. He observed the dedication of a son making final arrangements for his beloved mother. Something in how Jesus laid down his life gave at least one thief the courage to hope and to ask for mercy and moments from eternity it came.
The ONE THING for today: It’s a sobering thought to think that it could our example that will be the last chapter someone reads before departing this world for heaven or hell.
Bottom line, we do not have the luxury of living just for ourselves, there’s too much at stake.