Tag Archives: Thief

Which Thief? – A Poem

Two thieves were crucified
beside Jesus one dark day
One thief mocked
One thief believed

Which one would I be?

If I was crucified
right by His side
would I mock and jeer?

Which thief would I be?

If my fate was tied
to His upon a cross
would I trust and believe?

Which thief would I be?

Which thief would you be?
Where would you spend eternity?

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Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

The Thief Knew the Miracle of Forgiveness

My favorite song by Third Day is called “Thief” and is sung from the perspective of one of the two thieves hanging on the crosses next to Jesus. It always brings tears to my eyes. I have seen Third Day in concert five times, and they have played this song every time. I was delighted to find this live version on YouTube:

The exchange between Jesus and the two criminals is recorded in Luke 23:32-43. One of the thieves joins in with the crowd in mocking Jesus. But the other, the one from whose perspective this song is sung, sees Jesus for who He really is.

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Luke 23:39-42 (NLT).

Two thieves dying next to Jesus. One demands that Jesus save him from the cross, the other asks for mercy. One is stuck in his own conception of what it means to be saved and what he thinks Jesus should do if He was God. The other casts all of his own ideas aside and trusts in Jesus.

I’ve been reading The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop and came across a passage the other day in the background chapter on Jesus that touches on the different ways in which people viewed, and still do view, Jesus. Some clamor only for grand miracles; others see Him for who He is and trust in His love and mercy for the forgiveness of their sins. Writing about the people’s’ reaction to Jesus’ miracles, Bishop writes:

He dreaded to hear the word miracle. He understood the weaknesses of man—he had promised his Father to give his life in expiation of these weaknesses—but it was an almost horrifying thing to learn that they preferred the working of miracles to being told the road to heaven. They were children, and everywhere he went they grinned and rubbed their hands together and nodded their heads and asked for “a sign.”

They had asked the same thing of John the Baptist and he had had no patience with them. He had roared back that the time of the Messiah was growing shorter and that they had better repent here and now. Signs, he warned them, could come from Satan. But Jesus could not answer in that manner. With all of his heart he loved the people. Their childishness seldom moved him to anger; his response was pity, and more love. Over and over, he would repeat the same lessons to the youthful minds in mature bodies and they would listen, or debate the lessons with him, but, when they warmed to the task of looking fairly upon his face, they would always ask for “a sign.” And, no matter how many times he bowed to their whims, and effected a miracle, they would ask again for “a sign.” Without proof, they would have no part of him. And in grieved him that his chosen twelve needed many miracles too. The Day Christ Died, pg. 105-106.

I love the patience Jesus shows with those who demanded miracles. Even the mocking criminal next to Him on the cross did not anger Him, but this mocker was included in Jesus’ prayer, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (NLT). But eventually, those who demand a sign and refuse to see Jesus for who He is lose out on the greatest miracle of all — the forgiveness of sins. The mocking criminal may have been included in His prayer, but He did not say to that criminal, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (NLT).

Which thief are you more like? Do you want God to just fix everything right now and do things the way you think they should be done? Do you constantly seek more proof, more miracles? Or are you willing to trust that God has a better way? Do you understand that the forgiveness of your sins by our Heavenly Father is greater than any sign or miracle that you could ever see?

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Filed under Book Review, Faith, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011

Are You Prepared to Make Your Move?

Maybe you were raised in a Christian home and you have always known and believed in Jesus. Or maybe you came to know Him later in life, because of something a friend said or did. Many Christians, including me, fall into that latter category. Some were even raised in Christian homes, but didn’t ever truly understand until a believer who cared showed them how much Jesus really loved them. 

It’s not that there was ever a time that I didn’t think there was a God, but for a long time I didn’t really understand what having a relationship with Jesus was all about. I wanted to know. I wanted to understand. I wanted to believe. But I didn’t know how. I needed someone to show me. I am grateful that God placed people in my life who could do just that, believers who cared and showed me the love of Christ.

This week I got the new Third Day CD “Move.” One of my favorite things about Third Day is that their songs are sung from a variety of perspectives. For example, my favorite Third Day song “Thief” is sung from the perspective of the thief on the cross next to Jesus. My favorite song on “Move” is called “Make Your Move” and is sung from the perspective of an unbeliever who wants to understand and wants to believe and is talking to a believer. If you want to see all of the lyrics, you can click on the title, but I want to share a few of my favorite ones here:

Make Your Move” by Third Day

I’m looking around here for some kind of miracle
I’m looking around here for some kind of sign
I gotta believe there’s a rhyme and a reason
For the faith that you find

And if you care to share a minute of your time with me
Tell me now because I am hoping that I can believe
Give me a reason to trust what you’re telling me
Lord knows I need it now, won’t you show me how

Well, you’ve got love and I’ve got time
Won’t you make a move before I change my mind now
And I’ll give you a chance to say
Everything you want before I walk away
Well, I want to believe it’s true
I’m listening close
Won’t you make your move

I first heard this song when Third Day opened their Tualatin, Oregon show with it last July. It was the first time they had played it live, and I instantly loved it because of its awesome southern rock sound. As I’ve listened to it more and pondered the lyrics, it is quickly becoming my second favorite Third Day song right after Thief.

If you are a Christian, there may be someone in your life right now who doesn’t believe . . . yet. They want to, but they don’t know how. They need you to show them. But they probably won’t tell you that like the person singing this song. But as Peter wrote, you must  “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15. You also have to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to know when to “make your move.” At some point, it may be too late and they may walk away, still not knowing the truth about Christ’s love and grace.

Sometimes we don’t “make our move” by overtly sharing the Gospel with words. As Christians we must always show the love of Christ to others by our actions and our character so that they will see something different in us. As Jesus said, you need to “do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12. We need to show the love we have been given and believed in, so that others who want to believe can know how.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music