“For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” [Luke 23:31]
Which side of the cross are you on?Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Jesus Himself was the green tree, and unbelieving Israel was the dry. If the Romans heaped such shame and suffering on the sinless, innocent Son of God, what dreadful punishment would fall on the guilty murderers of God's beloved Son?
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The robbers reviled Jesus at the outset. If He was the Christ, why did He not save them all? But then one of them had a change of heart. Turning to his companion, he rebuked him for his irreverence. After all they were both suffering for crimes that they had committed. Their punishment was deserved. But this Man on the middle cross had done nothing wrong. Turning to Jesus, the thief asked the Lord to remember him when He came back and set up His kingdom on earth. Such faith was remarkable. The dying thief believed that Jesus would rise from the dead and would eventually reign over the world. Jesus rewarded his faith with the promise that that very day, they would be together in Paradise. Paradise is the same as the third heaven and means the dwelling place of God.
From Jesus Christ's side one thief got saved and the other did not. Which side of the cross are you on?
Jesus, remember me!
“But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” [Luke 23:42]