The thief on the cross uses one of his last breaths on earth to ask Jesus to remember him when Jesus goes to his kingdom. And Jesus replies that today the thief would be with him in paradise.
Today the thief was going to paradise. There was no purgatory, no waiting. The thief had never gone to church. He had not done one good thing in the name of Jesus.
He just believed
and he was saved.
This is such a clear-cut picture of how grace works.
It’s a gift.
A gift that this thief chose to accept with this last, dying breath.
It’s awesome when we hear of people today who finally accept Jesus’ salvation on their deathbed. Their eternity is secured!
I always feel a little sad for them, though. They missed all the joy and purpose God gives us during our lives here on earth. They had to do this long, hard journey without the love, strength and comfort that only comes from God. Their life on earth had been a lot harder than it needed to be.
We are so thankful for the gift of grace you have given us, dear Father!