Comforted by a Thief: ”The other criminal rebuked him… we are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. Then he said, ”Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” Luke 23:40-42. Have you ever really tried to be concerned about others when you are frozen in fear, or in pain? It is very difficult to do, much less to do when you are dying. It’s a lot easier to complain and throw insults around. Sometimes in pain, I voice, “Jesus, how did you do it, how did you have compassion?” and shake my head in amazement. In these verses, a guilty man is dying, not only showing concern for Jesus reputation but also defending him to the other thief, oh what strength repentance must provide even in pain. This might have been the only encouragement Jesus received in the last 24 hours, and from a thief! All his disciples had abandoned him, no one stood up for him. Jesus was reminded in his dying moments by a wretched thief why He was doing this, why He was dying a painful death. It was to hear people say things like that thief did for the rest of earth’s history. We are all thieves, sinful nature steals one choice, but Jesus gives another. Even in your pain, defend the cross of Christ to the “other thief on the cross”. Whether that “other thief” is your sinful nature or another man, comfort and give great heed to the cross of Christ. If you are already a disciple of Christ, defend your Master to ends you don’t understand unlike the disciples who couldn’t.