Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm


“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 23:42-43

The thief on the cross is part of the Easter story. There is a thief on either side of Jesus when He is crucified. Picture the scene: Soldiers are barking orders, onlookers are attempting to humiliate the dying men, and women are crying, all while Jesus and two criminals struggle for every breath. Their pain and torture were unimaginable. Life was on its final countdown for the criminals hanging on either side of Jesus.

While one thief hurled insults at Jesus, saying “…“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” (Luke 23:39–41).

In giving us a glimpse of this man’s present condition, God gives us a picture. He gives us a picture of a guilty and helpless man. He can’t escape his past. He can’t erase what he’s done. He can’t escape the situation. He’s hanging on a cross, and there’s nothing that he can do to save himself. Nothing.

He is in a seemingly hopeless condition. Everything about his past and everything about his present says he’s not only unlovable but he’s not saveable. But if we know the end of the story, we know the opposite is true. There is a stunning transformation. The repentant thief began to fear God: the thief said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).

Jesus answered the repentant thief with the most hopeful words possible: “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). A thief had his eternal destiny changed with a simple plea to the Savior. “Jesus, remember me.”

This story is a reminder that salvation is a gift from God. The repentant thief had no time for good deeds. He could not repay those he had stolen from, help the poor, or be baptized. He probably would have failed a Bible knowledge test. All he could do was look to the Savior with faith and ask for mercy. And that’s all he needed. Think of it. Suddenly, he was absent from his earthly body and present with the Lord. Imagine his joy and thankfulness.

The thief seems an unlikely convert. But in this story, we see something about God’s grace, namely, it is for the guilty and it is for the helpless. The Lord takes us to the extreme of this unlikely convert to show us that the very things that we think disqualify us from God’s saving love and mercy are actually the very reasons to come to Him.

The story is about the remarkable saving love and mercy of God. The wonderful thing about this is this same Christ who suffered and died, this same Christ who forgave this thief, is risen and He is here with us today.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What lessons can we learn from the thief on the cross? 
  2. What does this say about Jesus’ love and compassion?