[This is part of a series of posts during Easter week looking at the seven statements of Christ on the cross.]
Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Jesus was speaking to one of the thieves on the cross beside him. This man had recognized that Jesus was the Son of God and that Christ had the power to forgive him. In his conversation with the other thief on the cross he had already come to grips that he was a sinner in need of punishment. What he did not expect to find was a Savior hanging on a cross next to him.
Jesus offered eternal life to this man. The man accepted, even though his theology was not completely right. He asked the Lord to remember him when Christ took control in His future kingdom. Jesus said that the day the thief died was also the day he would be in the presence of God.
There were no works, good living or even baptism that was required for this man to have the gift of salvation that was offered to him that day on the cross.
What a glorious promise to a thief on the cross. Praise God that salvation is offered to us in the same simple way.