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An Encounter with the Crucified King (Luke 23:39-43)

Intro

Have you ever been asked what your most embarrassing moment is? I used to have a story which my mother used to tell me about me when I was five years old, when I took off all my clothes on the first day of school. Thankfully, I do not really remember it and I will spare you the gory details.

However, I was pretty embarrassed the other day and I think this tops all other embarrassing moments. I was going to go check the mail.  Our mailbox is about a block away, bunched together with other mailboxes. As I was walking along the sidewalk, I noticed our neighbor’s garage door open. Those of you who have come to our townhouse know we share our driveway with two other people. We are on one end and this neighbor was on the other. As I walked past, I noticed their little dog standing there wagging its tail…and without a leash.

Now you have to know something about me. No offense to any dog lovers here, but I am deathly afraid of dogs. I don’t like them and they don’t like me. They will never be my best friend. So on this day, I smiled, looked away and proceeded to walk faster when the dog noticed me and started to fix its gaze upon me. But as I walked to the mailbox, a dilemma arose: How am I going to get back?

I figured I would be brave and walk back like I walked to the mailbox. However, as I headed towards my house, I think the dog could smell the fear on me, as he started furiously barking at me and I still had a half a block left to walk!

I gulped. My heart skipped a beat. Then I made a move. I decided I was going to cross the street and walk on the other side of the sidewalk. I started to think of lawsuits (isn’t your dog supposed to be on a leash?) and images of me in a cast with my leg up in a hospital bed (as you all visit me with flowers), started to flash before my eyes.

So I am basically jogging now on the other side of the street as this dog is barking away at me. My plan was to cross the street like half a block away past my house and then hide behind this pine tree, jump over the railing and run up the steps into the house. I mapped it out in my head as though I was planning on an elaborate prison escape or like I was in a Mission Impossible movie.

However as soon as I crossed the street, the dog came running out into the driveway barking like…well, a mad dog! It was over. Abbie was going to grow up to be fatherless. Jenny will be a single mom. It’s over. I stood there behind the pine tree paralyzed, clutching the mail in my hands with dear life. Just then, the neighbor comes out looking for his dog and sees me like almost like Zacchaeus. I was so embarrassed! “Looks like you’re on his territory,“ he smiled. “Yeah,” I smiled back nervously as I rushed through my front door.

That was an embarrassing moment! We are going to look at the thief on the cross today, whose day started as the most embarrassing day of his life, but which turned out to be the best day ever! We are winding down our series called “Encounters.” After today, we will have one more encounter to close our series, Lord willing. We have been almost following Jesus these weeks starting with His first miracle changing water into wine (John 2:1-11) and now with an encounter with Him on the cross here today. This is Encounter 8 and the title of the message is “An Encounter with the Crucified King” and our text is found in Luke 23:39-43. This will be fitting for us as we approach Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday this week.

I want to look at three questions regarding the miracle of salvation. Here is the first question, “How can you miss it?”

I. Willful Arrogance (Luke 23:39).

It is a Friday in Spring 30 AD. I’m going to read Luke 23:32-38 so we can set the scene of what is happening here.  Here, our Lord is hung between two thieves and being executed here like a lawbreaker and criminal, fulfilling the prophecy that He would be “numbered with the transgressors” (Is. 53:12Luke 22:37). He was crucified around 9am and died around 3pm. It was God’s providence that He was crucified between both robbers (Luke 23:33), giving them each equal access to the Savior. Both could see the inscription over his head which read, “This is the King of the Jews” (Luke 23:38) and both can witness the death of the Messiah for a lost, dying people. But here He hangs there with outstretched arms, longing for the return of a lost, prodigal world.
Let me give you a brief description on crucifixion taken from William Barclay’s commentary:

“When a criminal reached the place of crucifixion, his cross was laid flat upon the ground. Usually it was a cross shaped like a T with no top piece against which the head could rest. It was quite low, so that the criminal’s feet were only two or three feet above the ground. There was a company of pious women in Jerusalem who made it their practice always to go to crucifixions and to give the victim a drink of drugged wine which would deaden the terrible pain. That drink was offered to Jesus and he refused it (Matt. 27:34). He was determined to face death at its worst, with a clear mind and senses unclouded.

The victim’s arms were stretched out upon the cross bar, and the nails were driven through his hands. The feet were not nailed, but only loosely bound to the cross. Half way up the cross there was a projecting piece of wood, called the saddle, which took the weight of the criminal, for otherwise the nails would have torn through his hands. Then the cross was lifted and set upright in its socket. The terror of crucifixion was this—the pain of that process was terrible but it was not enough to kill, and the victim was left to die of hunger and thirst beneath the blazing noontide sun and the frosts of the night. Many a criminal was known to have hung for a week upon his cross until he died raving mad.”[1]

I think an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1986 as well as the recent film, The Passion of the Christ, but have helped to show the brutality of crucifixion. Pastor Kent Hughes has noted that in the journal article,[2] “The authors detailed the pain of the flagellum as it tore into Christ’s skeletal muscles, the pain produced by the weight of the body hanging from spikes that penetrated the medial nerves and tore at the tarsals, the gruesome respiratory agony, the cramping, the ensuing plural effusions, concluding that “Death by crucifixion was in every sense of the word excruciating, literally, ‘out of the cross.’ ”[3]

May we never fall into the trap of thinking that what Jesus went through on the cross was not hard because He was God. He went through it as a man among men, totally depending on the Father without anything as a human to alleviate the pain. But let us not forget that greater than the physical pain was the spiritual pain that accompanied carrying our sins and facing all of God’s wrath poured out on Him.

The story we are about to read is only found here in Luke and not found in Matthew, Mark or John. As we walk toward Calvary, we sense a lot of comedy and mockery going on. Turn for a moment to Matthew’s account inMatthew 27:38-44. There we see the people walking by mocking Christ as well as the religious establishment and the soldiers. But in Matthew 27:44, both the robbers or thieves on both sides were also mocking Him. Not one, but both! The point being that the cross is a total mockery. EVERYONE scorned Jesus, even the thieves who were hanging right with him.

You could almost hear them sneer: “Life is pretty tough on Messiahs these days, eh? How about a little miracle, Galilean? Some king of the Jews you are.” I understand if the soldiers, the religious leaders and the people doing this, but sarcasm also from someone who is in the same situation as you? Crucified men taunting a crucified man? Amazingly Jesus was not like to the thieves, “You are one to talk! Take a look at where you are!” But Jesus took it all because He took our shame. We were the ones who deserved mockery and shame for all of our sins. He died in our place.

Back to Luke 23:39. We do not know anything about these criminals. We do not know how much they stole or how often. We do not know who they stole from or why. We only know they are criminals here in Luke, while Matthew and Mark tell us they were “robbers” (Matt. 27:38Mark 15:27). Warren Wiersbe notes that “criminal” here is a “…Greek word [that] means ‘one who uses violence to rob openly,’ in contrast to the thief who secretly enters a house and steals. These two men may have been guilty of armed robbery involving murder.”[4]

But it does not matter what they did, but what they became because of their encounter with Jesus. Isn’t that true? All that matters 100 years from now is what we did with the person of Jesus Christ!

So both of them were mocking and taunting Jesus, but apparently one stopped. I wonder what happened to him that made him a hero for standing up for Jesus as we shall see and humble enough to submit to Him? But the other criminal kept going, he “railed” at Jesus my translation says. Other translations say, “hurled insults” (NIV) or “hurling abuse” (NASU). The word “railed” or “hurled” means literally “to blaspheme” or “to speak with sarcastic disrespect.”[5]

Look what he asks Jesus to do. “Are you not the Christ or the Anointed One?” He asks not because he believes, but more out of sarcasm. You would think a man in his situation would use his last few drops of energy for something other than blasphemy. Not this crook. His heart is so dark and thick that he is willing to mock even in the most worst of pain. Notice everyone is asking Jesus to save Himself. The people in Luke 23:35, the soldiers in Luke 23:37and now the criminal in Luke 23:39. It’s almost like it is like a spreading disease among the various groups from the people to the soldiers and now to the thief. But the thief adds a selfish request: Save us too!

The ironies here are countless. Everyone wants Jesus to save Himself, but that is the one thing He cannot do for if He tried to save Himself, He cannot save anyone. They mockingly call Him King, though He is God’s true King. He is accused of blasphemy against God when in reality the people here are blaspheming Jesus, the one true God. It is He who is innocent, but he is accused by the guilty.

Notice the prayer of this unbelieving thief:  “Take me down and get me out of here.” He is concerned about himself and as a result he is on his own. What willful arrogance! It is a horrible thing to be on your own! Jesus says nothing to him.

Illus: John Bisagno has said that “Christianity is a cross, and a cross is “I” crossed out.[6] It is ironic that the middle letter of pride is “I.”

There are a lot of people who look at Jesus and ask, “What have you done for me lately? Take me down from this cross! Get me out of this situation!” Jesus is just a spare tire and not your steering wheel, you take Him out when you get into an accident.

Author Max Lucado describes some of the weak views people have about Christ:

“For some, Jesus is a good luck charm. The “Rabbit’s Foot Redeemer.” Pocket-sized. Handy. Easily packaged. Easily understood. Easily diagrammed. You can put his picture on your wall or you can stick it in your wallet as insurance. You can frame him. Dangle him from your rear view mirror or glue him to your dashboard.

His specialty? Getting you out of a jam. Need a parking place? Rub the redeemer. Need help on a quiz? Pull out the rabbit’s foot. No need to have a relationship with him. No need to love him. Just keep him in your pocket next to your four-leaf clover.

For many he’s an “Aladdin’s Lamp Redeemer.” New jobs. Pink Cadillacs. New and improved spouses. Your wish is his command. And what’s more, he conveniently reenters the lamp when you don’t want him around.

For others, Jesus is a “Monty Hall Redeemer.” “All right, Jesus, let’s make a deal. For 52 Sundays a year, I’ll put on a costume—coat and tie, hat and hose—and I’ll endure any sermon you throw at me. In exchange, you give me the grace behind pearly gate number three.”

The Rabbit’s Foot Redeemer. The Aladdin’s Lamp Redeemer. The Monty Hall Redeemer. Few demands, no challenges. No need for sacrifice. No need for commitment. Sightless and heartless redeemers. Redeemers without power. That’s not the Redeemer of the New Testament.”[7]

Here is a question to ask ourselves this morning? Is what you are living for worth what Christ has died for?

Right by Moody Bible Institute, I used to walk by this church where they had sculpture of this cross. I walked by it so many times, but one time, I would walk by it and I noticed there was an inscription at the bottom, “All this I have done for thee, what have you done for me?”

I am sure hundreds of people have walked by and never even looked once. It is the same today. The cross stands high and lifted up, calling a world to this amazing love. Yet, we walk right by it. Every Sunday we sit here and are not moved by it. We have gotten used to it. Familiarity breeds complacency and contempt. We walk by it unmoved because the heart of this unbelieving thief is in us, focusing just on ourselves and how to use Christ to move forward with our agenda, while not moving one inch to love Him or serve Him.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed: See the thorn-crown; mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills.… And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it.”[8]

The miracle of salvation can be missed. As a professor of mine at Wheaton College used to say, “You cannot be a proud follower of a humble Savior.”

Here is a second question:

How do I know I have it?

II. Embrace the Evidence (Luke 23:40-42)

In Luke 23:40, we see a total change of heart from one of the thieves. It is so curious for me as to what really turned him to Christ. Was the sign over Christ? Was it the fact that as Peter would say much later, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Pet. 2:23). Was it the prayer he heard in Luke 23:34, “and Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’”?

Perhaps in the midst of all of the insults, mocking and jeering, he lifted up his faint head up to see how Jesus, with blood on his cheeks and a crown of thorns scraping his scalp, could say with a hoarse whisper, “Father, forgive them.” Perhaps at that moment, a moment where time seemed to stand still, that his eyes locked with the Lord’s and it was as if scales had fallen off his eyes and he saw no hatred, no scorn, no judgment, but forgiveness.

Only eternity will reveal what happened to make this thief so penitent that afternoon. But we do see evidences of his embrace of the miracle of salvation. There are four we can see from this text.

a) Evidence 1: Fear of God—Who God is (Luke 23:40)

It takes a lot of courage here from this thief to say what he says. He is annoyed by the unbelieving thief and rebukes him for not having any fear of God. He is providing commentary on all those who are mocking Jesus up to this point. In essence, the criminal is saying, “How can you taunt this innocent man when you are deservedly suffering the same sentence? What gives you the right and the nerve to put him down?”[9]

This criminal is a Jew, and as a Jew, he is raised by the law of God to know God and God’s holiness. But now he is a breaker of the law. He knows it and all of Israel knows it. This is why it is the most embarrassing moment of his life. But he is not looking for a way to get down from the cross. He has a fear of God. He knows after death, there is the judgment (Heb. 9:27). So he says, “Don’t you ever think about what’s going to happen when you wind up in front of a holy God?” Like Jesus said, “Don’t fear those can destroy the body, but fear Him who destroys both soul and body in hell” (Luke 12:4-5Matt. 10:28).

One of things that happens to you when you become a true believer is a fear of God. Paul says one of the signs of an unbeliever is the fact that they have no “fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18). There should be a sense of “what’s going to happen to me after I die and am I going to make it to Heaven?” There will be a God we are going to have to answer to. There will be judgment day. Thus, when you preach the Word to people and the hope of the gospel, you need to give them the law of God and show them how they have violated it. This is offensive and not really tolerant or politically correct, but without conviction of the fear of God and the breaking of the law of God, they will not see the need for the Son of God for their salvation.

This penitent thief has the fear of God. Secondly,

b) Evidence 2: Awareness of Sin—who we are (Luke 23:41a)

Secondly, he has an awareness of sin. This goes right along a healthy fear of God. When the Spirit of God turns on the light in the sinner’s heart, the first look is upward—of God. The second look is inward—of his/her sin. There is a sense that God is holy and I am not. Notice what the thief gives in the first part of Luke 23:41 is a double confession of guilt. There is recognition and repentance. He is owning up to his sin. He stops blaming God and others like his parents, the system or the environment. That is true repentance. In this way, he is far above most of humanity who think the good in their life outweighs the bad in their life, so they must be okay with God.

When you share the gospel with people, take them to the Ten Commandments. James tells us that if we have broken one of them, it is like we have broken them all (James 2:10). The only way to bring the awareness of sin into people’s hearts is the Spirit of God working through the law of God. The law of God is a mirror which shows you that you are dirty and need cleansing! This leads to the third evidence.

c) Evidence 3: Recognition of Jesus (Luke 23:41b)

The thief looks over to Jesus and declares His innocence. How he knows this is a mystery.  Isn’t it amazing and ironic that it is not the religious establishment, the supposed “people of God” who should be standing up for Jesus, but it is a condemned criminal who testifies? Aren’t you glad someone is finally defending Jesus? Peter ran away. The disciples (most of them) are hiding. Pilate washed his hands and the Jews are accusing.  A case can be made that the entire injustice of the crucifixion can be summed up in Luke 23:41.[10]

Once you have the fear of God (look upward) and an awareness of how great a sinner you are (look inward), you make another look (look outward) to see what a great Savior you have. I am a great sinner, but I have a great Savior! How precious did that grace appear, the hour we first believed? Like Charles Wesley sang, “Amazing love! How can it be? That thou my God shouldest die for me!”

In C. S. Lewis’s children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia, a young heroine named Lucy meets a majestic lion named Aslan in the enchanted land of Narnia. Making a return visit a year later, the children discover that everything has changed radically, and they quickly become lost. But after a series of dreadful events, Lucy finally spots Aslan in a forest clearing, rushes to him, throws her arms around his neck, and buries her face in his mane. He touches her nose with his tongue. She gazed up into the large wise face.

“Welcome child,” he said.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”

“That’s because you’re older, little one,” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I’m not. But each year you grow, you’ll find me bigger.”[11]

That is one of my favorite lines in the entire series: “But each year you grow, you’ll find me bigger.” As we grow spiritually, it is not that Jesus grows bigger, but we will find Him bigger, deeper than we ever have before. Aren’t you glad you cannot outgrow the Lord? Aren’t you glad the problems and burdens of life cannot outgrow Him either? This is the point of this series as well, a deeper and bigger encounter with Jesus as we grow in Him!

Obviously the thief does not know everything about Jesus, but he moves with a tiny mustard seed faith toward the Lord’s direction and that is all that the Lord needs. He has come to the conclusion that “I am wrong; Jesus is right. I have failed; Jesus has not. I deserve to die; Jesus deserves to live. The thief knew precious little about Christ, but what he knew was precious indeed. He knew that an innocent man was dying an unjust death with no complaint on his lips. And if Jesus can do that, he just might be who he says he is.”[12]

d) Evidence 4: Plea for forgiveness (Luke 23:42)

He looks at Jesus and makes an amazing plea. He didn’t know much theology obviously, but he does know that Jesus is a King, a King with a kingdom to bring the most unworthy of citizens into it. In sum, he is affirming his faith in the fact that Jesus is the Messiah.

This is confirmed by what he calls the Lord: “Jesus.” Jesus means “God saves.” He didn’t ask Jesus to remember his works or to remember the fact that it was he who stood up for Jesus. He doesn’t even ask Jesus to get him off the cross. He asked Jesus to remember him.

Now this is not like, “I kind of remember this guy who was next to me on the cross once.” John Macarthur adds that his prayer is “Much, much more than that.  It’s a plea of a broken penitent, unworthy sinner for grace and forgiveness and what he’s really saying is, ‘Save me from the judgment of God.  Save me from what I deserve.  Forgive me, You’ve prayed it.  Can I be one of those that’s an answer to Your prayer?’”[13]

Interestingly, he asks Jesus to remember him, “when you come into your kingdom.” He doesn’t ask to be remembered after death, but in His kingdom. He knows his end-times theology. The Old Testament taught that the Messiah would come and establish His Kingdom. Israel will be saved and the Messiah will set up His throne and rule in glory. Maybe he knew from Daniel 12 that God was going to raise up His people and bring them into His Kingdom? But he says, “I’m going to die and I’m unworthy, but when you come into your kingdom, can you bring me with you?”

Bock notes that, “Plummer (1896: 535) summarizes the verse nicely: ‘Some saw Jesus raise the dead, and did not believe. The robber sees Him being put to death, and yet believes.’” [14] See the difference from the first robber? He said, “Take me down!” This one said, “Take me up with you!” The first one put Jesus down as a victim, but this robber lifted Jesus up as a victor. No one survives a crucifixion. If He believed Jesus was going to come in His Kingdom that means he believes Jesus will die and resurrect at some point right? Wow! What faith! This robber is now turned beggar, reaching out his hands for some crumbs of mercy.

Here is the last question: How is the miracle of salvation granted?

III. It is granted instantaneously, personally and abundantly (Luke 23:43).

How will Jesus respond to this plea? The answer is totally astonishing. He says, “truly.” I know what I am about to tell you is going to hard to believe, but it is coming from my mouth, so that you may have strong encouragement from me before your death!

Look at what Jesus says: “Today!” Wow. Instantaneous. I love what F.B. Meyer says here: “Dost thou ask Me to remember thee at some distant moment, when the kingdom of which I am now laying the foundations shall have become the all-conquering kingdom of the world? Thou needest not wait so long. I say unto thee that this very day, when yonder sun now scorching above our heads is sinking in the west, and the shadows lie long from our crosses, and the people have gone to their homes, thou shalt be with Me, where the sun shall no more be thy light by day, nor the moon by night, but the Lord shall be thy everlasting light.”[15]

He adds a personal touch: “you will be with me.” It is a promise and it is a promise to be with Christ. You asked to be just remembered, as though I will give you a passing thought, but you will be more than just a passing thought. In fact, when I sit on my sapphire throne, you will sit right next to me![16] See what is happening here? John Macarthur says,

“This is another blast of the sensibilities of the religious leaders, like the father running and kissing the prodigal and kissing him all over the head and putting a robe and a ring and sandals on him and making him a full son and taking him up to his estate and having a celebration, full reconciliation, full sonship, full riches, full resources.”[17]

Lastly, Jesus says “in Paradise.” This word is a “Persian word meaning a walled garden. When a Persian king wished to do one of his subjects a very special honor he made him a companion of the garden which meant he was chosen to walk in the garden with the king. It was more than immortality that Jesus promised the penitent thief. He promised him the honored place of a companion of the garden in the courts of heaven.”[18]

Here Jesus is speaking of restoring the first paradise of Eden. God used to walk with His people in Eden in the cool of the day (Gen. 3:8) and now He will do it again with this thief. Beloved, it is never too late to turn to the Lord. As long as there is a beating heart in man, the Savior’s heart beats for him too and extends the offer of salvation, even until his final breath!

This was a miracle of grace. The Lord was at his lowest point, but even in His lowest point, He was able to save the worst of sinners. The thief had no time to do great works. He had no time to clean himself. He was nailed to the cross and even there, in simply looking to Jesus by faith, received a place in Heaven.

We are saved by grace through faith and this is not our own doing, but it is the gift of God, not a result of works, lest any man shall boast (Eph. 2:8-9). I like what Jon Courson says, “Therefore, when anyone says to you, “Believe in Jesus and get baptized in this manner.…” or, “Believe in Jesus and sell ‘Watchtower’…” or, “Believe in Jesus and wear holy underwear…”walk away, change the channel, write them off. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Paul declared, “and thou shalt be saved.” Period (Acts 16:31).”[19]

J.C. Ryle wrote, “One thief on the cross was saved, that none should despair, and only one, that none should presume.”[20] I do believe deathbed conversions are possible, but we must never presume that we will always have that opportunity. This is why the offer of salvation is always “now!” (2 Cor. 6:2). This beggar, asking for a few crumbs, within hours, will realize he will receive the entire pantry!

Conclusion

Have you ever thought about the thief’s first moments in Heaven? I love CH Spurgeon’s thoughts here:

“Remember that he died, perhaps an hour or two before the thief, and during that time the eternal glory flamed through the underworld, and was flashing through the gates of paradise just when the pardoned thief was entering the eternal world.

Who is this that entereth the pearl-gate at the same moment as the King of glory? Who is this favored companion of the Redeemer? Is it some honored martyr? Is it a faithful apostle? Is it a patriarch, like Abraham; or a prince, like David? It is none of these. Behold, and be amazed at sovereign grace. He that goeth in at the gate of paradise, with the King of glory, is a thief, who was saved in the article of death. He is saved in no inferior way, and received into bliss in no secondary style. Verily, there are last which shall be first!

Here I would have you notice the condescension of our Lord’s choice. The comrade of the Lord of glory, for whom the cherub turns aside his sword of fire, is no great one, but a newly-converted malefactor. And why? I think the Savior took him with him as a specimen of what he meant to do. He seemed to say to all the heavenly powers, ‘I bring a sinner with me; he is a sample of the rest.’”[21]

As I conclude here, I want to let you know that I have changed my mind on my most embarrassing moment. I know what will be the most embarrassing moment for the rest of my life. Nothing will ever top it. It happened 2,000 years ago. On Calvary’s cross, He took all my guilt and shame. He laid there naked for me. All of my sins were placed upon Him. That was supposed to me. That was supposed to be you, but He took our place. His death has become our life. How can we not but respond with the hymnwriter and say, “Love so amazing and so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all!”
—-

[1]The Gospel of Luke, ed. William Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, The Daily Study Bible series, Rev. ed., 284 (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 2000, c1975).

[2] William D. Edwards, M.D., Wesley J. Gabol, M.Div., Floyd E. Josmar, M.S., AMI, “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,”     Journal of the American Medical Association, March 21, 1986, Vol. 255, No. 11, pp. 1455–1463.

[3]R. Kent Hughes, Luke : That You May Know the Truth, Preaching the Word, 380 (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1998).

[4]Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition CommentaryLk 23:32 (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996, c1989).

[5]Darrell L. Bock, Luke Volume 2: 9:51-24:53, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 1854 (Grand Rapids, Mich.:Baker Books, 1996).

[6]Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed., 167 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000).

[7]Max Lucado, Six Hours One Friday (W. Publishing, 2004), pp. 89–90; submitted by J. R. Love, Rushton, Louisiana to preachingtoday.com.

[8]Robert J. Morgan, 170.

[9]Darrell L. Bock,  1855.

[10]Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, Lk 23:26 (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994).

[11]C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian, 148 (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1951).

[12]Max Lucado, He Still Moves Stones (Nashville: Word Pub., 1999).

[13]John Macarthur, “The King Crucified: Conversion at Calvary” http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/42-287 accessed 4 April 2009.

[14]Darrell L. Bock, 1856.

[15]F.B. Meyer, Our Daily HomilyLuke 23:43.

[16]Ibid.

[17]John Macarthur, Ibid.

[18]William Barclay, 287.

[19]Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary, 419 (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003).

[20]Mark Water, The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations, 1058 (Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd, 2000).

[21]C.H. Spurgeon, “The Believing Thief,” http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/2078.htm  accessed 4 April 2009.

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