We are so fortunate to have the details of the faith statement of the thief on the cross given to us. In only these three verses, we can glean so many deep theological truths. First, we learn much about the nature of grace. Salvation did not belong to the criminal for any other reason, except Jesus extended Him grace. He never had a chance to validate his conversion with good works. Jesus extended the man grace because of who He was, not who the man was. Second, we learn that salvation does not come through baptism, but through grace. The man could never be baptized, but that day he entered Paradise. Third, we understand something about the nature of eternity. Some people teach that you go into a place of holding until the resurrection. Jesus’ words to the criminal is that fellowship in Paradise (Heaven) with Him started that very day. Fourth, we learn something about the power of the Holy Spirit. This criminal heard no sermon that day, but he still got saved. When the Holy Spirit moves in a person’s life, salvation comes.
Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com.