Consider the scene at Golgotha: Three crosses, Jesus in the middle, a thief on each side.

One thief hurling insults at Jesus, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other thief rebukes the first. “Don’t you fear God “ he said, “since you are under the same sentence.

We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” [Luke 23:39-41]

This scene at the crucifixion of Christ can be viewed as a representation of the way the world sees Jesus. There is a part of humanity who mock Jesus and who refuse to follow Him. They do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah sent from heaven to save mankind.

Then there are those who believe that Jesus is the Christ and follow Him.

Those who do not follow Him are lost. Those who follow Him are saved.

The second thief said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” [Luke 23:42-43]

He saw Jesus for who He was, and he was promised eternal life.

So the question is, which side of the cross are you on?

Do you reject Jesus as the Savior of he world? Or do you know Him as your Lord and Savior?

Do you think that you do not need Him? Or do you believe that without Him one is doomed to eternal torment and suffering? There is no neutral ground when it comes to Jesus.

You either believe in Him as the Messiah and Savior, or you think He was just another man.

Giving your life to Him and asking Him to live in your heart assures you eternal life in heaven and the Holy Spirit to guide you through your life on earth. Knowing Him as Savior enables you to live with hope and peace. Life without Him – well – is no life at all.

Before you stands the cross, the place where Jesus bled and died for forgiveness of your sins and eternal salvation for your soul. Accept it. Accept Him. Embrace the promise that Jesus made to the thief who accepted Him.

On the day you leave this earth you can hear the Savior say, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

What a promise!

What a Savior!

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” {Galatians 6:14]

—Dr. Sam Smith is the organizer of Butterfly Ministries and can be reached at ssmithkate@aol.com.