Committed to teaching and obeying the word of God

How Jesus Saved a Thief

Luke 23:32-45

The Thief

“Two criminals” (v32)

  • According to Matthew (and Mark) both of the thieves reviled Jesus.
  • When he was first crucified, the second thief was just as depraved as the first.
  • Whatever his other sins, the his worst sin was that he blasphemed God on the cross.

What He Heard and Saw

  • The second thief was almost certainly Jewish and thus would have had some Old Testament education.
  • He may have had some exposure to Jesus’ ministry prior to his arrest.
  • He had some understanding of the promised Messiah.

“the Christ of God” (v35)

  • Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, or God’s Chosen (or anointed) one.
  • The Messiah fulfilled the three Old Testament anointed offices: Prophet, Priest, and King.
  • As Prophet, the Messiah revealed the Father to his people.
  • As Priest, the Messiah represented his people to the Father.
  • As King, the Messiah ruled over all.

“Father, forgive them” (v34)

  • You might expect the Messiah to pronounce a righteous judgment on his tormentors.
  • Instead he did the least human-like (at least for fallen humans) thing he could have done: he had mercy.

How He Responded

  • The second thief confessed that Jesus is God (v40).
  • He acknowledged his own sin (“the due reward of our deeds” (v41)).
  • He recognized that Jesus was perfectly righteous and had done nothing wrong (v41).
  • He trusted Jesus to same him from his sin (“remember me” (v42)).

Our Continuing Response

  • Responding to the gospel is not just how we are first saved; it is how we continue to be sanctified.
  • We must continue to respond to Jesus as God.
    • He is Lord.
    • His glory is the most important thing.
  • We must continue to confess of our sins.
  • We must recognize his righteousness (and not our own) as the basis for our salvation.
  • We must continue to trust in him for all things.