So many folks look at the cross of Jesus and focus in on certain things. I guess we all may be guilty of this perspective. One of the more dangerous focuses is any man who will focus on everything except that middle cross where the body of the Son of God was hanging. Some look at the cross of a criminal and say “I want to be saved like the thief on the cross”. Let’s take some time and notice a few facts about that cross.
Firstly, at this time the Old Law was still in effect. We must remember that the New Law was not ushered into the world until AFTER Jesus’ death. As the Church was established in Acts 2, this man died before the Church was established. So his salvation would not be predicated on the regulations of the Church. (Col.2:14-17, Gal.4:4-5, Gal.:3:13-18)
Secondly, we cannot prove or disprove the baptism of the thief. So many would quickly state that this thief was not baptized, however, I never read about this thief being baptized or not. According to Mark 16:15, the gospel went into the entire world. In Matthew 3 and Mark 1 many were being baptized and by John. It is possible that this thief was a part of the group. After all, he knew about Christ’s Kingdom.
Thirdly, while on this Earth, Jesus was endued with ALL POWER. Jesus had the power to command, perform miracles, and even forgive sin. Jesus proved this fact in Mark 2:10-11. We ought to never short change the power of Jesus as a part of the God head. He had the power to forgive sin and remit those sins fully.
As we look back at this criminal next to Him on that cross, we must understand that we cannot be saved like this thief. We live 2,000 years too late and about 4,000 miles too far west. Not only this, but we would also have to be convicted of the crime of theft and crucified next to Him. We can be saved by God through the blood of Jesus if we will live an obedient life unto Him.