A. 3 MEN ON CROSSES - SOMETIMES WE FORGET 2 OF THEM.
B. EACH MAN TELLS US A STORY.
1. 2 are typical of people of the world.
2. 1 was unique.
C. OUR PURPOSE IS TO EXAMINE ALL THREE.
A. HE DIES SCOFFING AT JESUS( vs. 39 ).
1. What did Jesus do to him? Scoffing was not justified.
2. Many today reject for no just cause( Matt. 13:15; 23:37 ).
3. He followed the lead of others( Luke 23:35-37 ).
B. HIS STATEMENT SERVES AS A CHALLENGE( vs. 39 ).
1. Satan delivered the same challenge( Matt. 4:5-6 ).
2. Jesus answers( Matt. 5:7, from Deut. 6:16. See Ex. 17:1-7 ).
3. Writer of Hebrews attributes this testing to unbelief( Heb. 3:9-11, 19 ).
4. It can happen today( Heb. 3:12 ).
C. DO WE TEST GOD TODAY?
1. Do we blame him for our troubles?
2. Do we pout like spoiled brats when we don't get our way?
A. REVERENCE FOR GOD( vs. 40 ).
1. We need to imitate him( Heb. 12:28 ).
2. Who is God?( Matt. 10:28 ).
B. THOUGHTFUL ABOUT HIS POSITION( vs. 40 - Heb. 9:27 ).
C. HE ADMITTED GUILT( vs. 41 ).
1. Justice of the publican( Luke 18:13 ).
2. Pharisees were blind( Luke 18:11-12 ).
D. RECOGNIZED CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS( vs. 41: 1 Pet. 2:21-24 ).
E. HE KNEW THE PLACE OF JESUS( vs. 42 ).
1. Calls him Lord( KJV, Acts 2:36; Matt. 28:18 ).
2. Sees him as a king, even though he realizes Jesus is dying.
3. Relies on Jesus to save him.
a. Calls on him( Rom. 10:13 ).
b. An act of faith( Rom. 10:14 ).
c. Faith cause us to rely on him, too( 2 Tim. 1:12 ).
F. JESUS SAVES HIM( vs. 42 ).
1. Still under the Old Law.
2. He did more than believe.
3. What does Jesus expect of us?
A. SUFFERING CROSS, BEYOND COMPREHENSION.
B. IT WAS A VICARIOUS DEATH.
1. We were the sinners, not Jesus( Rom. 3:23; Heb. 4:15 ).
2. We deserved to be on the cross( Rom. 6:23 ).
3. But he died in our place( Rom. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:21-24 ).
C. IT WAS A CROSS OF LOVE.
1. Undeserved( Rom. 5:8 ).
2. None greater( Eph. 3:16-19; John 15:13 ).
A. JESUS DIED FOR YOU.
B. WE SHOULD BE LIKE PAUL( Gal. 2:20 ).
C. THE THIEF WAS MOVED TO ACTION BY HIS FAITH.
D. IF WE TRULY BELIEVE, WE WILL OBEY( Acts 22:16 ).