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Summary: Words uttered at the end of a man's life take on extra significance. What did our Lord say in His final moments? And what do they speak to us today?

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Luke 23:32-43 NIV

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.

33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left.

34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar

37 and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?

41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Introduction:

Two Thieves, Two Different Perspectives

Have you ever listened to two people describe an event from completely different perspectives?

A car accident, perhaps, or maybe a sporting event…

Their descriptions sound so different that you may wonder if they are talking about the same thing…

We see in the text, Luke recorded something like that in 23:39–41

Two criminals, at the same scene,

On opposite sides of the cross of Christ

One saw another failed opportunity to get himself free from Cross

The other saw and understood that the way of salvation was not to be free from the Cross,

But to be free from sin & inherit life everlasting

The first man died in his sins

The second received forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life

Perspective makes all the difference

I think sometimes we want the Lord to free us from our situations

We want freedom from our circumstance

But we should find our delight in Jesus Christ

And His Salvation

And that is more than enough!

Text Setting:

Three crosses stand on the Hill of Golgotha

A crowd has gathered there to witness all of whats taking place

Not that crucifixion was unusual

But this day is different. An unusual man is being crucified.

Jesus wasn’t an ordinary criminal, Not a thief, not a murderer

But still, there he was on the middle cross

On either side, two men were crucified with him

Luke 23:40-41

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?

41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

One criminal rebuked the other criminal

Pointing out that they deserved their sentence, but Jesus did not

They were being punished justly,

But Jesus had done nothing wrong

How this one criminal understood this truth isn’t known


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