Luke 23:32-43: Right or left?(please click for todays passage)

Jesus was ‘numbered with the transgressors’ (Isaiah 53:12). This was particularly evident at His baptism, and when He died on the cross. He was so identified with sinners that, to the outward eye, it looked like He was one, even though He wasn’t.

This is a potent picture. The entire human race is one side or other of the cross of Jesus. Where are you positioned: on the accepting or the rejecting side? We saw in yesterday’s piece that it is a serious matter to turn Jesus away. There is no good Biblical basis to believe that Hell is only temporary, and that those who go there will eventually get a visa to migrate to heaven; that they will be able to move out. Suffused with sentimentality we might like to think that is the case, but it is not what the Bible teaches, as far as I can see.

You might have lived a terrible life. Or, you may have been a decent person. But  whether a criminal or law-abiding, you are a transgressor of God’s moral code. But it only takes a sincere moment before Him to alter your eternal destiny. It doesn’t need to be a long prayer. You don’t have to use technical, theological jargon. You just have to be real. Before death, is the time to make peace with heaven. The Bible does not indicate the possibility of doing so later. One of the criminals in this story did just that.

By the way, do you see the irony of telling Jesus to save Himself? If He had done so, He could not have saved others. It was by dying in our place that He bore our punishment for sin, and so we can go free.

I know which side of the cross I want to be.