Hey everyone and welcome to Refinery Life Church.

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” is the theme for this series that consists of eight biographical sermons about the people who were there when Jesus was dying on the cross.

Today’s message is titled The Face Of Forgiveness, The Thief.

Everything about Jesus’ death was designed to bring Him suffering and shame.

His enemies crucified Him between two thieves for the purpose of humiliating Him.

They wanted to present Him as a common criminal dying with His kind.

As usual, Jesus turned the evil plans of His enemies into something good.

The presence of these condemned men provided Him with an opportunity to demonstrate His grace and forgiveness.

Though the two thieves came to the cross from a common background and hd perhaps been companions on sin, they responded to their situation differently.

While at first both of them joined the crowd in ridiculing Jesus, one of them soon made a dramatic change in his attitude toward Jesus.

The way that Jesus responded to the abuse heaped upon Him convicted the third.

It convicted him of his own guilt and of Jesus’ innocence.

The thief knew that he and his companion deserved death because of their guilt.

He also knew that Jesus was innocent of the charges brought against Him.

He could see that Jesus was different.

He was out of place hanging on that cross.

The way that Jesus was praying probably made an impression too.

He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

How could a man have such confidence in God in these circumstances?

There was just something about the way he said the word Father.

And surely He must be different to have such an attitude of forgiveness toward those who were crucifying Him.

All of these impressions led to the thief’s appeal.

In Luke 23:42 the thief said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

It was not a very strong appeal, but it was directed at the right person.

Beneath this simple request was an unspoken plea for forgiveness.

In mercy and love, Jesus answered in verse 43, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

“Today” stood in contrast to a distant time in a future kingdom.

And the thief would be more than remembered.

He would be with Jesus in the dwelling place of God.

Jus assumed responsibility for all of the thief’s sins and granted him full, free forgiveness.

This incident is a beautiful example of divine forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the removal of our sins so they are no longer factor in God’s dealings with us.

We have no greater need than the assurance of God’s forgiveness.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban


Refinery Life Church Australia


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