Everyone sins. But some people sin in a way that transgresses more than social norms, they transgress the criminal law by stealing, murdering, and the like. Is there a single psychological characteristic that could be identified with every criminal? I don’t know. If anything, we could broadly say we all have the propensity and natural inclination toward sinfulness. What’s fascinating to me is how so many criminals, stay criminals and repeat the same lifestyle and habits that put them in jail. When Jesus was on the cross between two criminals, one was abusive, lacked any self-awareness or understanding of the connection between his actions and what would happen next. The other, in a moment of lucidity recognized the injustice occurring and with stellar insight recognized Jesus as his own Savior. One was with Jesus in Paradise that very day.
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other responded, and rebuking him, said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our crimes; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43 NASB
When did I understand my own sinfulness, need for a Savior, and that Jesus was who I needed? Who needs that same message that I know?
God, as this day begins- there are so many opportunities to do good, follow Jesus example, and to fulfill a small part of Your mission in the world. Would you lead and guide, completely provide, so that I might become the person worthy of the Paradise you have waiting for me.