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As we open to Matthew 27:39-44, before us is a scene of people who are mocking and insulting Jesus, who is on the cross. Beside Him were two other men who were being executed. One was on His right, and the other one was on His left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
The criminals who were being executed with Jesus were quite different. One of the criminals began to insult Jesus by asking if He was the Messiah and to demand Jesus physically save both of them also. The other criminal heard this and asked if the other criminal feared God. Both criminals were wrong, but only one of them could distinguish right from wrong because of his faith in Jesus. The one who feared God knew that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. I found this story relatable in both the earthly world and the spiritual world.
Luke 23:40-43 says, “But the other criminal rebuked him. “‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man had done nothing wrong.’” Based on those scriptures, I believe there is a correlation between the deeds we do on earth, determining if we will be with Jesus eternally or not. One of the criminals stated that he and the other criminal were receiving just punishment for what their deeds deserve, but Jesus was innocent in the punishment he received. Many times, if we do wrongful deeds on earth, we are not given another chance to be saved or make things right. But when we have the opportunity, we can receive the offer, making things right and be in paradise with Jesus. “Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:42-43).
Matthew 27:54 says, “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” Truly trust and believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Seek Him and search in your heart any wrong or unjust thing you think you might have done. Repent and ask God to clean your heart and renew your mind that you will be fully made whole in Christ. Psalms 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
About the Contributor
Iyonna Collins is a recent graduate of Mississippi University for Women with an accounting degree. Currently, she works for the school district in accounting with hopes of gaining the necessary skills and experience to later become a certified public accountant. She has a heart for God and hopes to grow her gift of showing His love through the words given to her. All our contributors are volunteers. If her article blessed you, consider blessing her. Her Cash App name is $IyonnaCollins.