Pastor Ryan shared lessons to be learned from the two criminals that were crucified on either side of Jesus.
Lesson from the first criminal…
• Not everyone is saved (all roads do not lead to God).
• You can be very near Jesus and still be lost (being around the church does not save you).
• You can be convinced that Jesus lived and still be lost (salvation does not come by believing that Jesus lived and was a good guy).
• A man can wish to be saved and still be lost (salvation takes more than a mental wish).
Lesson from the second criminal…
• You can be saved in an instant.
• You don’t have to understand everything in order to be saved.
• You are not saved through ritual.
• You are not saved by works (Romans 10:9 states: “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”)
• A saved person enters heaven at the moment of death.
It’s interesting that both criminals experienced the same in the presence of Jesus, and heard what Jesus said. Yet, one “railed as him” (blasphemed him), and the other responded to him in faith.
Reflection and Discussion
Certainly the cross leads to salvation, but it also leads to hearing and being obedient to Christ’s call on our daily lives. Reflect on how you have responded to Jesus.
Around your table today, share your thoughts on the significance of remembering the cross. How do you hear and respond?