Who do you identify with most in the bible?
Over the last few weeks the Lord brought back to my mind a word from last year that had been given to me. I believe there are some things in this word that can apply to all of us so that is why I share it.
About a year ago I asked the Lord this question of who I might be like most in the bible. I am sure we have all thought about who we might be like in the bible. I was expecting one of those big bible personalities
Joshua or Caleb
What answer did I get? Not one I was expecting.
His answer to me was that I could be seen like the thief on the cross.
That flawed me as that is not what I expected and to be honest I thought that was a bit hard as my immediate picture of the thief on the cross wasn’t me.
What were some of the immediate things that came to mind for me about the thief of the cross?
He was a thief. That was pretty obvious point.
I don’t believe He knew Jesus up until that point although I ponder as to what point did he realise who Jesus was. My initial thoughts were that he found out about him on the cross although the way he speaks in Luke it is possible that he knew Jesus by reputation or through something even deeper.
He was saved in the last minute of His life. I believe this happened on the cross although maybe he knew him earlier.
These are not things I recognise in myself so I was puzzled as to why the Lord looked at me as someone like this guy.
So I did a bit more pondering and research. There isn’t a lot about this guy in the bible just a few verses. As I did this there are some more things I start to see in this guy.
He was crucified with Jesus right beside Him.
John 19:17-18 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.
Are we not crucified with Him every day.
2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
We die every day to ourselves and look to be more like Jesus every day.
This is something I could see in myself.
Do we not have the Lord’s mercy?
John 19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.
There was a mercy here because it was a quick death after this. Mercy because they were with Jesus. There is something in this verse as these guys were saved from what could have been a lot longer slower death. Even on the cross we see mercy.
I see Jesus’s mercy in my life every day and in a lot of circumstances where I don’t necessarily deserve it. This is the nature of mercy that it is given to us even when we don’t deserve it.
We declare who He is
The thief on the cross recognised Jesus and who He was.
He declared who Jesus was
Luke 23:39-43 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Declaring Jesus is something I do so I can relate to this. I probably could do this more.
Two thieves on the cross
It strikes me that there are two sides represented here. One side is darkness and one side is light. One thief accepted Jesus and one rejected Him.
I can be represented as light and not darkness. There is a choice of who you are.
We come to Jesus when we have nothing
When the thief was on the cross everything was gone from his life. He was dead to the world. He had nothing with him and he was in a position where he was coming to Jesus with nothing.
We are strongest when we are at our weakest (dead to ourselves)
2 Corinthians 13:4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
At the cross we die but at that point we know we are fully in His power, it is all Him
at our greatest moment of weakness. It becomes all of Him so this becomes our greatest moment of strength through Him.
Again I could relate to this.
This was some of the material I found about the thief on the cross. It made me feel a little bit better about being pictured with Him but I still don’t feel it captures what the Lord sees in this guy.
So, in His word to me the Lord gave me a lot more about this thief on the cross and He explained some attributes to me of the thief of the cross which made a lot more sense. His words
In the future you will die many deaths for the witness you will speak.
Ok I get that one. Doesn’t mean I like it!
There is no greater witness than being on your cross next to the Lord, yet in that position only looking into the eyes of your saviour knowing that whatever you bear in this life is of no significance because you will be with Him in glory
Ok that is powerful and something to hold onto.
The one characteristic that I value above all is the fact that your eyes are on Me and that you are willing to die for your love of Me
There is no better individual that I could align you with in My word that solely loved Me to the point of death and at their point of death, recognising their own sin but reaching out to worship their saviour so if nothing else cling to the fact that I see your love.
Now I feel better and I share this word because I think these attributes can apply to all of us. He speaks this out and I still have some ground to take in this area but I can accept being like the thief on the cross.
Did you see these attributes in the thief on the cross? I think there is a lot more about this guy we will find out in heaven.
So, let’s be like the thief on the Cross and love the Lord while at the same time keeping our eyes on Him in all circumstances.