Our Spirit-inspired scripture this Easter morning is well known and it’s basic teaching comes readily to the lips of most Christians, it is so stark and simple. It’s an incident recorded only by Luke the historian, among the 4 gospel accounts, and reflects Luke’s heart for the spiritually needy who find resolution and salvation from Jesus. One commentator said that this conversation is the core of Luke’s crucifixion narrative. Here Jesus carries out the very last act of His public ministry. So with that in mind, let’s sit at the foot of the cross and let the scene unfold before us.
The attitudes of the two criminals crucified with Jesus stand in for the two attitudes of every person that comes in contact with the good news of the gospel. One’s attitude leads either to condemnation or salvation. It also serves as another testimony to Jesus’ total innocence, presenting Him as the pure Lamb of God, our substitute sacrifice even as He was dying.