I labeled the two criminals as "Criminal #1" who insulted Jesus and "Criminal #2" who understood who Jesus truly is. If you think about it each one of us fall into the category of either Criminal #1 or #2. We looked at each and how we are just like them today.
Criminal #1 (verse 39)
-Disrespected Jesus and in turn disrespected God
-He hurled insults, scoffed, made fun of Jesus, etc.
-He Questioned Jesus' Sovereignty/Divinity- "So you're the Messiah, are you?"
-Tested Jesus- "Prove it by saving yourself"
-Was selfish and mainly concerned with himself
-Told Jesus to save him
-Thought he deserved being saved, or that Jesus owed him
How We are Like Criminal #1
-We Disrespect God
-Just like we say "Love God, Love People"- If we love the Lord with all our hearts then we will in turn have a greater love
for people. We are commanded to do this. Well if you take the flipside when you "Disrespect People you in turn Disrespect
God". Whether it be a friend, parent, teacher, boss, pastor, leader, etc. when you disrespect that person you are in turn
-We Questions God's Sovereignty/Divinity/Power when we Doubt
-We Test God
-We're Selfish and Concerned With Ourself just like Criminal #1. We think that people, and sometimes even God owe us. We
think they owe it to us to make us happy, however that may be. The thing is, nobody owes you anything.
Criminal #2 (verses 40-43)
-Rebuked the Other Criminal (verse 40)
-He Feared God
-Realized he was a sinner and deserved death (verse 41)
-He knew who Jesus was and that he hadn't done anything wrong
-Asked Jesus to remember him and was saved
How Can We Be Like Criminal #2
-Stand Up Against Sin
-Fear and Respect God
-Realize our Sin and That We Deserve Death- And our need for a Savior!
We can be saved and go to church and still have the same qualities as Criminal #1. I challenge you to ask God to reveal to you which one you are more like: the one who feared and respected God -or- the one who was disrespectful and selfish.