July 29, 2010

One Criminal

Luke 23:32-43

He said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Luke 23:42


When Jesus was on the cross, two criminals hung on either side of him. One of them received the gift of eternal life that day by trusting in Jesus.

Both of these criminals were sinners. So are we. None of us is any better than anyone else. We might make comparisons and say our sins are not so bad. But in God’s sight, if we have sinned, we are headed for destruction unless we confess our sin and trust in Jesus’ power to save us (see 1 John 1:8-2:2).

Maybe you’ve heard the story of a small town with a pair of bad brothers. They were always doing something shady, always making trouble. One day the older brother died in a car accident. The younger brother tried to plan the funeral, but all the local parsons avoided him. So the younger brother advertised, promising to pay $10,000 to any cleric who would call his brother a “saint.” A young clergyman presided over the funeral. The funeral was full of curious villagers. They wondered who would ever call the dead brother a “saint.” The speaker began: “As you all know, this man had the reputation of being evil. But in comparison to his living brother, this man was a ‘saint.’ …”

This story may give us a laugh, but there’s no use in comparing ourselves with other sinners. Everyone is a sinner. And there is only one way to be saved. Like that one criminal on the cross, may we look to Jesus!

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us new life through Jesus. May your kingdom come, and may we be a part of it for Jesus’ sake. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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