Page 9 - August 2022 - Truth & Tidings
P. 9

Testament, he may have been thinking of   tell you with certainty, today you will be
        Daniel’s prophetic vision of the coming   with me in Paradise” (Luk 23:43 ISV). This
        Messiah (“Son of Man”), to whom was   man was thinking of a future day when
        promised a “kingdom which shall not be   he hoped Christ would remember him in
        destroyed” (Dan 7:13-14).             His kingdom. But Jesus spoke of something
          With confidence we can also add that   soon – “today.”
        this malefactor saw (and found) redemption   The Savior also spoke of something sure.
        in Jesus. This brings us to his cry of faith:   He not only assured him that “you will
        “Lord, remember me when thou comest   be with me,” but began by telling him it
        into thy kingdom” (v42).  He had faith   was a “certainty.” This criminal hoped that
        that Christ would rise again and receive   Jesus would remember him in the future,
        the promised Messianic kingdom, and he   but Jesus gave him a comforting promise
        wanted to be with Christ in that kingdom.   to which he could presently cling.
        But note that he did not say, “Remember   But note that Christ also spoke of some-
        my  good  deeds.”  He  did  not  cry  out,   thing sweet: “You will be with me in Para-
        “Remember not my bad deeds.” He had   dise.” At that moment, they were together
        nothing to commend himself to the Lord.   in pain, but before the day was over, they
        He simply said, “Remember me,” which   would be together in paradise. It was one
        was a cry for mercy. And his redemption   thing for him to hope to be with Christ in
        is a reminder to us all that salvation can-  His coming kingdom, but another thing
        not come by works but is all by God’s   to be assured that he would be with Jesus
        free grace.                           that very day in paradise.
          Scripture tells us that there is redemp-  It has become apparent, therefore, that
        tion through the blood of Christ (Eph   Calvary’s first convert was a convict. Al-
        1:7), and this convict saw that blood shed.   ready at the cross, the Lord Jesus was gath-
        When the soldiers came to break His legs   ering His people. And He wasn’t done.
        and hasten His death, Jesus was already   Before the day was over, the centurion and
        dead. But he would have observed the   the soldiers would join the ever-growing
        piercing of Jesus’ side and His poured-out   company of the redeemed (see Mat 27:54).
        blood (see Joh 19:32-34).             With nails pinning His hands and feet to
          O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,  the tree, Jesus showed indeed that He is
                                              mighty to save.
            To every believer the free gift of God;
            The vilest offender who truly believes,  Whoever receiveth the message of God
          That  moment,  through  Jesus,  a  pardon   And trusts in the power of the soul-cleans-
                                                           ing blood,
                      receives. 3
                                                A full and eternal redemption shall have,
        A Cry of Assurance                       For He is both able and willing to save.
          The repentant outlaw didn’t have to    O sinner, the Saviour is calling for thee,
        wait long for a reply. Jesus told him, “I   His grace and His mercy are wondrously
        ² Most translations favor “Jesus” rather than        free;
        “Lord.” The repentant thief is, therefore, the   His blood as a ransom for sinners He gave
        only person in the Gospels to address Him   And He is abundantly able to save. 4
        simply by His human name.
        ³ Fanny J. Crosby (1820–1915)         ⁴ Elisha A. Hoffman (1839–1929)

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