Easter 2024 - Day 6: Emotions and Conviction

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23:40–41

Well, we have arrived at the cross. It is Good Friday and Jesus has been railroaded, sentenced to death, and is now suspended on a Roman cross by nails driven through His hands and feet. On crosses to His right and on His left are two men described as robbers. A large crowd has gathered to see the spectacle and to the understanding of most, three criminals are dying for their crimes. We know, as do a few others who are there, that the man in the middle is not dying for His own crimes, as He has never so much as sinned in any measure, but is a sacrifice for the sins of the world 1Jn 2:2/Jn 1:29. He is so hated for His righteous deeds that even while He suffers, the religious leaders heap insults and blasphemies upon Him Jn 15:25/1Jn 3:12. The enduring desire for acceptance is astounding as we witness the two robbers join in reviling this perfect lamb of God Mt 27:44. The chief priest mock as they look on saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him." Mt 27:42 and one of the thieves gathers just enough breath to add, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Lk 23:39 And that is when something quite unpredicted occurs… The other robber rebukes his partner in crime.

Look carefully once again at this inspired rebuke; First he says, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?" I confess, I have often wondered, in talking to some who are very near to death's door, where is the fear of God? The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and only God can teach us to number our days right that we may gain wisdom in our hearts Pr 9:10/Ps 90:12. One thief clearly has gained the wisdom of one who sees the reality of death closing in. He understands his sentence is one of condemnation. But notice too, that this criminal believes that the sentence of death is just. Vs.41 "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds…" Now we have entered on holy ground. The Spirit of God has shown His presence for who can see the sinful condition of their soul apart from the work of the Holy Spirit 2Co 4:4/Jn 16:8? And even beyond having eyes opened to his own sinful condition, he confesses what is happening to him is no injustice. It is, rather, his due reward and not just from fate or government - but this death penalty is direct judgement from God. Now, in this next phrase we are made to understand what the Spirit has used to bring such strong conviction on this poor sinner. "but this man has done nothing wrong.” We deserve it - but this is a perfect man.

The robber saw the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ tested under the most appalling of circumstances. Jesus laid down His life, no one took it from Him - He laid it down of His own accord Jn 10:18. And When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten…1Pe 2:23 And right there, Jesus did what He came to do… He saved a sinner 1Ti 1:15. And he (the robber) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he (Jesus) said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Lk 23:42–43 Yep, holy ground.

Resurrection Day is near… What do you believe about salvation? What do you believe about yourself and about Jesus? The robber had some pretty good theology concerning salvation. Spend some quiet time in secret with God specifically confessing the truth of who you are or were and who Jesus is. Glorify Him in this. Focusing attention on Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection for you.
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