We are accustomed to the striking image of 3 crosses standing on Golgotha on the fateful day known as Good Friday. We picture the scene with Jesus hanging on his cross between the two criminals, one on his left and one on his right hand side. This moment presents a unique platform for us to contemplate our own response to Jesus.
The two thieves share the spectrum of humanity's collective response to the Messiah. Some of us refuse to acknowledge Christ as our Saviour and even if Jesus did a whole bunch of miracles for us, we would still remain stubborn of heart. On the other hand, there will be a few people who will recognise Jesus' true nature and we will call out to him for mercy. His response to the penitent thief is also his invitation to all of us."One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” - Luke 23: 39-43