I know you’ve probably heard about the thief on the cross. But have you ever really thought about him? What was his name? What kind of life did he live? Did he have a family? How old was he? We know so little about him.
What we do know is that he was a thief and his crime was serious enough to require his execution. We also know that he had a conversation with Jesus before he died. Luke 23:42-43, 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.”
Several years ago I was going through the hardest thing I had ever endured. It involved one of my children. One day over the phone I was having a conversation with my pastor at the time. We were talking about my son and his situation and he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “God had to get the thief to the cross.” Those words were life-changing for me. Those words changed my perspective on the whole situation. It was no longer about consequence due to some bad choices my son had made but it was about God’s plan.
God used the thief on the cross to teach me about how far He will go to find the one sheep that is lost. And that’s when I started including these words in my prayers for my lost loved ones, “Lord, get them to the cross whatever it takes.” Those words are still so hard to say but with eternity in question, they are necessary.
So I’ve said all of that to come to this conclusion. We know one more thing about the thief on the cross. He had a purpose. For a brief moment in time, he fulfilled that purpose. Still to this day people are talking about the thief on the cross. He is being mentioned in sermons all over the world. A thief!
We all have a purpose. God used the thief on the cross to change my life, change my perspective and to change the way I pray. Who’s life will God use you to change? Who’s perspective will God use you to enlighten? Who’s prayers will God use you to influence? You don’t have to have a platform or be a pastor or a famous person. All you have to be is available and willing to be obedient. It can be something as small as a short conversation. What may seem small to you could mean everything to someone else.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.