Monday, February 8, 2016

Which Thief On The Cross Believed That Jesus Was Indeed Who He Said He Was?

Which Thief, The One On The Left Or The Right Side Died And Went To Heaven?

Question : Which thief on the cross believed that Jesus was indeed who He said He was and went to heaven? In other words, does the Bible say that the thief on the right went to heaven or the one on the left of Jesus went to heaven? I have searched the Bible and cannot find it. Can you help me find it or else understand it a little better as I am curious to know about it?

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name!

From the following Scriptural account we find two robbers crucified alongside Christ, one on the right and one on the left.

All four Gospels tell of two criminals who were crucified alongside Christ:

"Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left" (Matt. 27:38)

"And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left” (Mark 15:27)

"Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. . . . There they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left" (Luke 23:32-33)

"So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs" (John 19:32-33)

Both the robbers were initially mocking and reviling Jesus seeing the plaque board in which it was written, 'King Of The Jews,' and the fact that he was unjustly condemned and was about to die for claiming to be the Son of God which was in fact the truth.

Two of the Gospels recount Jesus being abused by the two criminals:

"Those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, 'You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."

"So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 'He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, "I am the Son of God.'" And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way" (Matt. 27:39-44)

"Those who were crucified with him also reviled him" (Mark 15:32)

But something happened miraculously in a moment of time. As both the robbers were convicted at that point of time by the Holy Spirit of their sin, He pointed them toward the sinless sacrifice of Jesus who is dying for them, here is what happened,
"39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43).

One of the robber rejected the conviction of the Holy Spirit and hardened his heart towards God and continued to mock Him for dying on the Cross along with them who were transgressors. But the other robber immediately realized the purity of the character of Jesus in staying silent against the mockery of all of them, and also his gentleness in silently bearing the suffering He was going through
(1 Peter 2:23), immediately he repented of his sins and turned to Jesus for salvation, and thus immediately he got His assurance from Jesus Himself that he was saved from his sin to live eternally with God (Luke 23:34, 39-43).

You are correct in your observation: the Bible does not say which thief reviled Jesus and which went to Paradise. If God did not see fit to reveal this information and the eye-witnesses did not record these facts, then anything offered in addition to the Bible can only be a suggestion based on observation relating to the Biblical information and not the direct truth in itself
(Proverbs 30:6).

I too give a suggestion that the robber on the right hand side might have been Divinely placed to accept Jesus as His Lord and Savior, this I say just by relating to the others Scriptures like the following theme of the judgment of nations that is going to happen soon after Jesus' second coming to the earth, before He allows the believers to live on earth and let others die the death of unbelievers in which Jesus will say,
"34 to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world... 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt 25:34, 41). This is the judgment in which Jesus will separate the sheep who are believers from the goat unbelievers forever to separate them eternally. So the cross too is the same which divided the believers from the unbelievers (Matt 10:34-36; Luke 12:49, 50, 51-53). One thief died unsaved, the other was saved and died because he repented, though both of them deserved hell fire equally based on their doings, but the grace of God made the difference in one robbers life to lead him to heaven which he never ever can earn it or deserve. Thus cross is the perfect demonstration of God's judgment against sin, and mercy and grace for the sinners who repent and look to the Lord Jesus for salvation and eternal life. As the Cross was the starting point of the division on earth that Jesus started, which will end at the judgment of nations when Jesus comes to the earth as its King to rule with a rod of iron, I infer that both are related and thus can be deduced in the same way. Based on this I suggest, that the robber on the right hand side of Jesus received salvation and went on to be with God in heaven. Praise the Lord!

Much Blessings....


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