Two criminals were crucified with Jesus. One to His right, and one on His left. The most innocent man surrounded by two guilty ones. Suffocating, hurting, dying. After enduring a whole day of abuse, Jesus continued to receive railings from one of the criminals, hatred spewing from his mouth, and yet, Jesus said nothing. He endured the abuse even though He didn’t have to.

The other criminal, who began by following suit with the other (Matthew 27:44), shifts. Something in him changes, and he begins rebuking his fellow criminal, confessing his sin, owning the penalty he is receiving, proclaiming Jesus’s innocence, and asking Jesus to remember him. In the most unlikely of places, during the most unlikely of times, as the Son of God hung dying, a sinner came to repentance; a heart was changed.

Truly. Amen. Let it be so. Jesus promises security to the repentant criminal by declaring he will be with Him in Paradise. In His final moments, Jesus made sure the criminal knew that he would not be forgotten, and that his faith had brought him into the fold; that his belief had secured him a place in The Garden with the one who makes Heaven Heaven.

We are one of these two. We are either the criminal who rails against the Savior, or we are the one who in humility sees our need for Him. One found eternal security with Christ, the other without Christ. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep, He lays down His life to protect them from the wolves, and He leaves the 99 in search of the one. Belief in Him leads to a life free from insecurity.



— What does Jesus do to secure you forever? 

  1. Jesus endures the staggering abuse of sinners. (Luke 23:39) 

    • Isaiah 53:7 — With careful patience, Jesus received the venom of the railing criminal. 

  2. Jesus received the sincere confession of the repentant. (Luke 23:40-42) 

    • Matthew 27:44 —Both criminals began reviling Him, but something changed for one. Maybe it was Jesus’s prayer? Maybe it was the ruler’s testimony beneath them? Maybe it was the message above Jesus’s head? Faith ignites in his heart, and he repents.

    • Three different kinds of confession: 

      • The confession of guilt — Matthew 5:3 

      • The confession of belief 

      • The confession of need. — Joseph was forgotten by the royal cup-bearer, but Jesus is the true and better cup-bearer. He remembers, and He saves. – Genesis 40:23 

  3. Jesus promises eternal security to every believer. (Luke 23:43) 

    • John 10:28-29 — The Bible gives no evidence that our eternal security has to do with our today or tomorrow. If we know Christ, there’s nothing we could do today to add righteousness or blame to our record.

    • 1 John 5:12-13 — At the throne of God, the people aren’t divided by good and bad, but “with Jesus” and “without Jesus.” 

    • Hebrews 7:25 — If Christ can secure our forever through our belief in Jesus, then call out to Him. 



  1. Are you presuming upon God’s grace? 

  2. Have you trusted Christ to be saved? 

  3. Are you trusting that Christ can secure you forever?

  4. Have you looked to Jesus? Will you?



Just as Jesus was intentional to affirm to the repentant criminal that he would be in Paradise with Him that day, so Jesus is intentional to care for us in our greatest time of need. We are designed to crave and seek out security which is why children when faced with fear, reach up for a protective Father. When we, after realizing our need for a savior, reach up to Christ in fear, helplessness, and insecurity, He always reaches down for us. 1 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.” We can stand resolute in the security of Jesus’s promises to us, and, through this security, we are called to utter our Amens for His glory.


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