Do you not fear God…

Two robbers at cross
Two rebels were crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left. Matthew 27:38

Most likely, the two robbers saw Jesus as they saw themselves, a criminal getting ready to die. Jesus was headed to His death just as they were headed to their deaths.

There is a saying we sometimes use when God has manifested His power on our behalf and we want to acknowledge that it could not have been anyone but Him: “But God.” Things would have been different, But God! The enemy thought He had me, But God! I couldn’t see my way out, But God! The doctor said, But God!

I believe that there are many But God’s in the story of the two robbers at Calvary. You see, it is obvious that even in the midst of torture, brutality, mockery, insults, and kangaroo courts- Jesus never gave up on His assignment from the Father to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. Praise God, even at the cross the Father and the Son are still at work drawing and seeking!

As meditate upon these Scriptures, I see many “But God’s” drawing unto the Son:

  • And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).” The robbers knew they were dying. It is apparent that the one robber’s conscience made him aware that he needed forgiveness. I would imagine there is already a battle going on in his mind when he hears Jesus praying, asking the Father to forgive the ones who have so brutally whipped Him and is now getting ready to kill Him. Surely, it caused the robber to ponder and a bit of the enemy’s blinder came off (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). But God!
  • But God uses evil for good and as the crowd is mocking and insulting Jesus, this same robber is able to hear testimony of what Jesus had proclaimed about Himself. We don’t know if either of them had ever heard these proclamations before but they are being spoken now. But God!
    • “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him (Matthew 27:42).” He saved others? King of Israel? Perhaps there is some way he can save me.
    • “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross (Matthew 27:40).” Son of God? Destroy temple, rebuild temple? Who is this man?
    • “He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God (Matthew 27:43).’” Trust God? Deliver? Son of God…is he God’s Son? If anyone can deliver me, it would be God.
    • BUT God…So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).”
  • Pilate even hung a sign, There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews (Luke 23:38).”” But God!

As faith builds, one robber rebukes the other. I’m just Pat but the robber’s heart is obviously changing and I wonder if he realizes that these words are going to come out of his mouth before they were out. You know, like the people who say that they suddenly find themselves before the Lord repenting of their sin.

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23:39-41

But God! Can you imagine? In the midst of the mockery, the insults, all that must be going on, even the killing of Jesus…this robber has the courage to rebuke the other robber and admit his crimes (sin) and that he was receiving his due reward. Selah! But God!
He then acknowledges “that this man has done nothing wrong,” he is having his own Peter moment:

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:16-17
Shout now: Hallelujah! But God!

42 And he [the robber] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he [Jesus] said to him [the robber], “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).”
TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE. Ahhhhh, tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word. Just in simple faith to trust Him, just to know thus said the Lord!
But God! Oh what a Savior! Proverbs 30.5

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus!
Louis M. R. Stead – 1882

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
  • Refrain:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

  • Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  • Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  • I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.
  • Luke 23.43

     

    To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

    Images: Pinterest

    6 thoughts on “Do you not fear God…

    1. This is such a good, inspiration. I always felt that when Jesus said to the robber “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).” That it was once again a lesson that He would not give up on us, not even in our dying breathes, and if we even in those last moments acknowledge and believe in Him, He would save us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amen! I believe this is the only “death bed” account in the Bible. It it’s a great encouragement not to give up on people, be faithful to the assignment God has given us and trust Him for the rest. Blessings today! Thanks much for reading and sharing, adding to our conversation! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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