I. Look to Calvary and We see three men dying:
Jesus dying there with two thieves: One on either side
a. One dying for sin.
b. One dying in sin.
c. One dying to sin
Two were completely guilty.
One completely innocent.
Two paying their debt to society.
One paying OUR debt of sin
II. Look To Calvary and See Two Men In The Same Condemnation (vv. 39-40)
The mockery of the first thief.
The other thief's remarkable observations:
a. States a great spiritual truth
b. Recognizes his own guilt (v. 4 1)
The most difficult truth on earth to accept:
a. That all people are equally guilty before God
b. We divide humanity: RACE... and by PLACE
c. But with God ... its just GRACE
There is no difference
a. The mayor and the meter maid
b. The star and the street walker
c. The doctor and the patient
d. The warden and the criminal
God's Word tells us that all have sinned…there is none righteous, no not one.
III. Look To Calvary And See Two Men Who Both Ask Jesus For Salvation (vv. 39, 42)
Both thieves asked Jesus to save them
a. "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us"
b. "Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom"
c. The first asked to be saved from the situation…
d. Many pray when in trouble, but this kind of prayer does not save
e. The other asked to be saved from his sin
1) Here is genuine conviction
2) Conviction precedes conversion. ALL GUILTY BEFORE GOD
3) This thief faces the real issues of life:
a) He admits his sin and accepts Christ as his Lord
b) He anticipates the resurrection of Christ
c) He anticipates his own resurrection
d) He looks at Jesus in His humiliation and sees a King
IV. Look To Calvary And See Jesus, Whose Purpose Is Redemption
The Plan of Redemption had three steps to fulfillment.
1. The first step was that Jesus must come to earth and live a sinless, perfect life.
a. This He did for some 33 ½ years.
b. 'For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin...' cf. 2 Co. 5:21
c. '...a lamb without blemish and without spot' cf. 1 Peter 1:19
d. 'Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth' cf 1 Pe. 2:22
2. The second step was that Jesus die.
a. The death of Christ was the ransom paid for the penalty of sin. 'Who gave himself a ransom for all...' cf 1 Ti. 2:6
b. The death of Christ was to reconcile the world unto God. cf 2 Co. 5:19
(2 Cor 5:19) "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
c. The death of Christ was for the propitiation or satisfactory payment for our sins.
(1 John 2:2) "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
d. He died as a substitute for us so that we wouldn't have to pay the price of sin. 'The wages of sin is death...'
3. The third and final step was the resurrection.
a. It proved Him to be the Son of God. 'Declared to be the son of God with power ... by the resurrection from the dead.' Ro. 1:4
b. It makes certain the resurrection of all. 'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive'. Cf. 1 Co. 15:22
c. It makes certain the coming judg-ment. 'he will judge the world in right-eousness by that man ... he hath ... raised from the dead'. Cf. Ac. 17:31
d. It gives assurance that we are accepted by God. 'Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.' Cf. Ro. 4:25
The plan of redemption has been completed, and now it is faith that appropriates it for us.
Ro. 10:9, 'If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.'
1. God's love has provided the necessary means of redemption through the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2. However, it is up to each one of us to appropriate that redemption for ourselves by faith. Eph. 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
3. A gift cannot benefit an individual until they receive it unto themselves.
When we look to Calvary, we see the cross and we see the Savior. Jesus died for us, was buried, and is risen again for our redemption.
This morning would you think with me for just a moment? You know what your life is. You also know that death is inevitable for each of us. But what about eternity? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are saved and will spend eternity in Heaven? If not, won't you take the opportunity this morning to come and receive Christ as your Savior, and gain that assurance of eternity with Him?