Week 11 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was Luke 20-24. These chapters speak mainly of some of Jesus’ encounters with the religious leaders, His words to His disciples regarding the end times, the last supper, all that He suffered on our behalf, His death, and His resurrection.
Luke 23:23 & 39-43 informs us that two criminals were crucified with Jesus, one of whom mocked and insulted Him. The other criminal rebuked the one who was making fun of Jesus, saying that while they deserved their punishment, Jesus had done nothing wrong. Then he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus’ response was to tell the criminal that he would be with Him in paradise.
How could Jesus respond to him in such a way? The criminal couldn’t make any amends for the crime for which he was being crucified. He had no time left to change his way of living, and begin living a better lifestyle. He was hanging on a cross, nearing the end of his life. All he could do was depend on Jesus, trusting that He would remember him, in accordance with his request.
That was all he needed to do. That is all any of us can do – place our trust completely in Christ, relying on Him, and Him alone, for our salvation. We can’t do anything to save ourselves. No amount of good deeds can purchase for us a relationship with God, for it is by grace, and through faith, that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8).
When the criminal asked Jesus to remember him, did Jesus turn him away? By no means! Instead, He assured the criminal that he would be with Him in paradise that very day. Though the criminal could do nothing for himself but call out to Jesus, our Savior met him where he was at. The same is true of us today, for Romans 5:6 says it was while we were still helpless that Christ died for us.
Jesus promised in John 6:37 that He will never drive away those who come to Him. No matter what point you may be at in life, call out to Jesus. Come to Him today, assured of His love and acceptance.
Be sure to join us next week as we wrap up the Names of Jesus series!