Two Men Who Represent All Mankind
"One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: 'Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!' 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 has done nothing wrong.' 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: 39-43
Have you ever thought about the fact that in the end all mankind will be divided into two groups? So, what are those two groups? Well, it’s not going to be those who are socialists and those who are capitalists. It’s not going to be conservatives and liberals. If you’re from Alabama, it’s not going to be those for Auburn and those for Alabama. In the end, all mankind is going to be divided into two groups. And those two groups are described over and over by Jesus. In one of His parables, He talks about the sheep and the goats, two different groups representing all mankind. When Jesus preaches His Sermon on the Mount, He talks about a small group that is going to go by a narrow way and a larger group that is going to go by the broad way.
When Jesus was crucified, He died between two guilty thieves. The first one wanted to use God, saying, “Hey, if you’re really the one true Messiah, save yourself and us. Get us out of this mess!” The second thief was mocking Jesus, as well, but as He watched Jesus die, He began to change when he heard Jesus saying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” He saw no bitterness in Jesus at being crucified unjustly – he just saw forgiveness – and began to realize this was no ordinary man. This man was good and not guilty. And this thief began to believe He was the Messiah, the Son of God. He cried out for Jesus’ mercy, knowing he didn’t deserve it, yet Jesus provided him “Paradise.”
One man mocked Jesus. One man changed his mind and began to believe. One man is in Hell. The other one is in Heaven. Two men who represent all mankind.
With which man would you identify?
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