with jesus we allways winning
The second word on the cross is Salvation – Luke 23
Scripture reading: Luke 23: 26 – 43.
Sermon text: Luke 23: 42,43:
He said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into you
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today yo
u will be with me in paradise.”
When a person works an eight-hour day and receives
a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage.
When a person competes with an opponent and receive
s a trophy for winning, that is a prise. When a
person receives appropriate recognition for his lon
g service or high achievements and good
performance, that is an award. But when a person is
not capable of earning a wage, can win no
prise, and deserves no award, yet receives such a g
ift anyway, it is a good picture of God’s
unmerited favour. This is what we mean when we talk
about the grace of God.
Christ crucified between two robbers by the will of
It was no accident that our Lord was crucified betw
een two robbers. There are no accidents in this
world ruled by God. There can be no accident on tha
t day and with that event which lies at the
centre of God’s revelation of his love and salvatio
n. God was in control. From eternity he had
decreed when and where and with whom his Son would
die. Nothing was left to chance or to the
urges and ideas of man. What God had eternally deci
ded, happened exactly as he had ordained, and
nothing happened except what was his purpose to hap
pen. God’s “
power and will had decided
beforehand what should happen
” (Acts 4:28).
When Pilate commanded that the Lord Jesus should be
crucified between the two robbers, he was
carrying out the decree of God , fulfilling the pro
phecy of Scripture. Seven hundred years earlier God
had declared through Isaiah that his Son was to be
“numbered with the transgressors” (Is 53:12).
Good Friday Jesus hung on the cross with a criminal
crucified on his left and his right. What God
ordains and announces comes to pass.
Why did God ordain that his beloved Son should be c
rucified between two criminals?
Our Lord was crucified with two robbers in order
to demonstrate the full extent of his humiliation.
At his birth there was no place for him to be born,
but a stable, and now at his death, he is
numbered with criminals. He hung there in our place
, as our Substitute. We are the transgressors. It
should have been us hanging there on the cross betw
een the two who deserved the death sentence,
because we too deserve the wages of sin, which is d
eath. But Christ took our place. He was
numbered among transgressors in our place.
The sovereign grace of God
An important lesson we learn from the second word o
n the cross concerns the sovereign grace of
God. The two criminals were equally near to Christ.
Both of them saw and heard all that happened
those six hours that Jesus hung on the cross. Both
were wicked, dying and in pain. But one of them
died in his sins, he died as he had lived, without
repentance. The other repented of his wickedness,
believed in Jesus, called on him for mercy, and wen
t to Paradise. Only the sovereign grace of God
can account for this difference in response under t
he same circumstances and with the same
Don’t we see it still happening today? Under the sa
me circumstances, one is thawed out and the
other remains cold with regards to the gospel. The
same sermon will be received with indifference
by one, while another will see Gods love and mercy.
To one the Gospel is revealed, to another it
remains a closed book. Why does this happen?