Seven Last Words Daily Devotional -7
by David Joynt on February 23, 2021
LUKE 23:39-40 | 39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
ROMANS 8:33-34 | 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
The “penitent thief,” as He is traditionally called, is a remarkable character. He challenges His fellow criminal, who has been mocking Jesus, by pointing out that the guilty are in no position to condemn others. This leads to two deep observations.
First, it is incredible that God would put Himself in the position of being judged, mocked, and condemned by unworthy people. The divine vulnerability to false accusations and derision is such a shocking surprise.
Second, there is no one in a position to condemn Jesus! Everyone else is broken, selfish, misguided, prideful, slothful, or subject to any number of vices and culpable moral failures. Since no one is without sin, no one can “cast the first stone.” Only Jesus, morally perfect and spiritually whole, is in a position to condemn others.
Read Romans 8:33-34. Paul also raises the issue of who can condemn us.
Has anyone ever condemned you?