As Jesus hung on the cross, four different groups made fun of Jesus. The religious rules sneered at him. The people in general stood there as spectators. The soldiers mocked him and divided his clothes and cast lots for them. Even one of the criminals crucified with him mocked him. They all challenged Him to demonstrate that if He was God to save Himself and come down from the cross — but if He had, we’d have no hope for salvation. None of them believed that Jesus was Christ, the Messiah. In the midst of all the people jeering, sneering, and mocking, only one really got it. Only one figured out the Jesus was who He said He was.
Crucified with Jesus was two criminals. One hung and His left and one on His right. But two very different things happen with these two men. One of them only thought of himself and how to get out of the situation he was in. He called out to Jesus saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” He really didn’t care if Jesus saved Himself or not. What he really wanted was for Jesus to get him out of his own predicament. In the end, this criminal died and then realized the truth of who Jesus really is when he found himself in Hell for all of eternity – just one breath too late.
However, hanging on Jesus’ other side, is a story of redemption. The other criminal came to realize and understand the difference between his own guilt and Jesus’ innocence. At some point, he made the realization that Jesus is the Messiah and He asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into His kingdom. Jesus’ response was to promise that on that very day, he would join Jesus in Paradise.
Everyone of us must choose for ourselves who Jesus is. The redemption story of the criminal who chose to believe that Jesus is Christ shows us that even in the last moments of life we can still choose to believe and accept Jesus as our Savior. There is no sin too big that God can’t forgive. His salvation is a gift that you only need reach out accept. What will you do Jesus?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.