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Good Friday: Which thief are you?

Good Friday: Which thief are you?

By: Russ Latino - March 29, 2024

The two thieves were dying. One spewed hate with his last breaths, mocking a third innocent man. The second thief spoke the sorrow of someone who knew he deserved his sentence. He confessed. He asked only to be remembered.

Beside them, the innocent man suffering the same fate—a man, who in His own final moments of agony, extended mercy to the repentant with a promise of everlasting life.

“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.

It is beyond any legitimate dispute that we have far more in common with the thieves than with Jesus. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Every prideful thought, every moment of deceit, every violent or lustful impulse driving the nails in His hands, the nail in His feet, the thorns on His head, the spear in his side.

The wage of our sin is death, but there is hope. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.

Jesus came for sinners in need of grace. The man He saved that day was not an upright pillar of the community. He demonstrated no great theological knowledge. But what he did was to acknowledge his sin and the just punishment for it, while simultaneously acknowledging the lordship and sovereignty of Christ. The man was powerless to save himself. He understood Jesus would have to bear that burden. He knew Jesus had a heavenly kingdom and he wanted to be there. He genuinely believed.

On a cross on Calvary’s hill, beside the two thieves, the son of God died as a holy sacrifice for the sins of man. His wounds tell the story of God’s boundless love. Jesus victory over sin is complete. The question of eternal importance we have to ask ourselves is this: which thief am I?

“But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our sins; the punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.

Good Friday is great news for the broken in need of grace.

About the Author(s)
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Russ Latino

Russ is a proud Mississippian and the founder of Magnolia Tribune Institute. His research and writing have been published across the country in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, National Review, USA Today, The Hill, and The Washington Examiner, among other prominent publications. Russ has served as a national spokesman with outlets like Politico and Bloomberg. He has frequently been called on by both the media and decisionmakers to provide public policy analysis and testimony. In founding Magnolia Tribune Institute, he seeks to build on more than a decade of organizational leadership and communications experience to ensure Mississippians have access to news they can trust and opinion that makes them think deeply. Prior to beginning his non-profit career, Russ practiced business and constitutional law for a decade. Email Russ: