Mockery to Mercy

Pastor Brian Sump

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the Jews. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:32-43 NIV

Mercy: God withholding the judgment we deserve, and instead granting to us the forgiveness we have not earned

The Three Crosses Highlight: ‘

1.Our disposition toward rebellion

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” Luke 23:39 NLT

He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” Matthew 27:42-44 NLT

2. Our need for repentance
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23:40-41 NLT

What do we see from the thief on the right?

  • He had an encounter with God
  • He realized the end was near
  • He realized he would face his maker and be held accountable
  • He admitted that he had sinned and deserved death
  • Then he acknowledged Jesus was perfect

3. Christ’s gift of redemption

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43 NIV