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He Offers Salvation: Believe       Luke 23:32-49      May 20:2012

Introduction

       Some say we offer a salvation of easy believism but when you boil it down it is easy to believe. Now I believe you must have a repentant heart and a willingness to make a belief of commitment. The repentant thief expressed a genuine faith but it sure seems easy to do what he did. I am glad. Now some are critical of others who see more conversions than they see at their church. It all depends upon the number of people who confess Jesus and Lord as a part of their belief.

 

1.    He Offers Salvation through Forgiveness and . . Repentance. 23:32-38

       A.   Jesus Offers Salvation and . . Requested Forgiveness for Sinners. 23:32-34

32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him.

       33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one

       on the right and one on the left.

       34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they

       divided His clothes and cast lots.

 

       B.   Jesus Offers Salvation and . . Respects the Promises of Scripture.. 23:35-38

35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself

       if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!”

       36 The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine

       37 and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”

       38 An inscription was above Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.


       Why do some people agree that Jesus is the way of salvation and then refuse to repent and receive the forgiveness He offers? Many answers could be offered but all of this amounts to a willingness to stay in their sin. Many times I have heard someone who came to Christ after many years of life say, “ I have been foolish by not coming to Christ, I regret not having done it sooner.” Jesus requested forgiveness for those who were involved in the details of His crufixion. Can you imagine asking for the forgiveness of a man who drove a spike through your wrist and hand. What about those who made the crown of thorns? Many times the scriptures say “this was done to fulfill Scriptures.” Among other things this further proves Jesus’ respect for the Scriptures.

 

2.    He Offers Salvation through Forgiveness and . . Redemption. 23:39-43

       A.   Jesus Offers Salvation and Redemption Comes to those who . . Repent. 23:39-42

39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”

       40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same

       punishment?

       41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man

       has done nothing wrong.”

       42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”

 

       B.   Jesus Offers Salvation and Redemption Comes to those who . . Request It. 23:43

43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”


       One criminal on the cross is called the repentant thief. Do you know why? Obviously he repented. The other thief still hurled abuse at the Lord. The repentant thief rebuked him and honored the Lord. Had this thief known Jesus before, or did he come to his conclusions simply by watching Jesus? I believe more conversation took place between the man and the Lord; but what happened was enough that Jesus was satisfied he repented and deserved the forgiveness He was providing. This experience had to erase some if not all the mocking Jesus went through.

3.    He Offers Salvation through Forgiveness from His . . Righteousness. 23:44-49

       A.   Jesus Offers Salvation and Righteousness from His . . Commitment. 23:44-46

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three,

       45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.

       46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He

       breathed His last.

 

       B.   Jesus Offers Salvation and Righteousness Obvious to the . . Centurion. 23:47-49

       47 When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was

       righteous!”

       48 All the crowds that had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, went home,

       striking their chests.

       49 But all who knew Him, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance,

       watching these things.


       How could Jesus offer forgiveness? He was the sinless Son of God and in the form of a man he did not sin.

No one who has ever lived, lived a righteous life like Jesus. Because He lived a righteous life He can offer salvation to all of us who will only be righteous through the provision He made on the cross. Jesus demonstrated His commitment to be the propitiation for our sin and mediator between God and us. It is curious that even the centurion recognized Jesus as a righteousness man, or Son of God as some translators state it.

In one of Cecil B Demils movies he had John Wayne playing the part of this centurion. I really liked that and believe the centurion was a man like that. He Offers Salvation: Believe Amen? Amen!