Jesus’ extension of grace to the dying thief on the cross is outrageous. By his own admission, the thief says that the punishment he received by death on a cross was just, unlike his Perfect neighbor who hung beside him as an unjustly condemned sinner. Grace for a thief? Grace for a man who broke the law, and at that time, was actually deserving of death? That seems preposterous. Still, Jesus pardoned his sins.
The same blood that Jesus bled to cleanse us of our iniquities, washed away the sins of the thief too. It would seem that Jesus, being God, knew that He would hang on a cross amongst criminals. It would seem He knew just what he was doing when His first drops of blood were used to wash clean one of those men; perhaps the most wretched of sinners. So what makes that thief so different from you and me? Absolutely nothing. There has never been a person in history more or less deserving of the grace of God. 1 Timothy 2:4-6 reminds us that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” Jesus is the ransom for our sins that made that thief our brother!
As Jesus’ kingdom expands through his redemptive work, so does our family of brothers and sisters. Today, take time to thank God for his immeasurable grace toward you and your brother and sisters. But don’t stop there, pray that God would open your eyes to see those around you in your life who need to know just how wonderful the grace of God is. May the redeeming love of Jesus be your theme for all your days!
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