Crucified with Grace

41We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:41-43)

Many young Christians struggle with the gift of grace. I know this as I reflect on my own early resistance to a relationship with Christ.  My battle in those dawning days stemmed from a false need to buy salvation in some way. This transaction included the so-called works of faith or the good deeds performed to prove I was worthy of such a Divine gift.

This passage concludes the account of the two criminals that were with Jesus in His final hours, one full of pride and self, and the other penitent and humble. The humble man acknowledges his sins and realizes his punishment is just. He then accepts Jesus as the Son of God by asking for his memory to remain alive in the Kingdom of heaven. By this acceptance, Jesus assures him “…today you will be with me in paradise.”

We do not know the history or even name of this first Christian, but we know his salvation unfolded in an instant. There was no time for good deeds to be performed or perfect prayers to be recited. He confessed his sins and accepted Jesus as his savior. He was then awarded the Divine grace of the Lord and a passage into the paradise kingdom of heaven.

We must come to know that Grace is a gift through our acceptance of Jesus Christ. As this acceptance takes hold of us, our heart will yearn to perform the works of faith in and around this temporary home out of willingness not of obligation. It is through this same acceptance that we are awarded the door into our eternal home in heaven.

May God Bless You and Give You Grace

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About Michael Cartwright

Follower of Christ Jesus! I am a person of patience, compassion and understanding. I have been married to my wonderful wife Stephanie since 1990. We have 3 children Dalton, Dylan and my late daughter Angelica (My Angel Girl) who ascended to the heavens on June 29, 2010. She continues to teach me many great lessons.
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12 Responses to Crucified with Grace

  1. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Ann Gardner says:

    I have a large nail from one of the first Good Friday services that i went to after I became a Christian. It reminds me that every hammer blow to the nails that pierced Jesus was fueled by my sin. I can never take Jesus’ sacrifice for me lightly.
    How do you wrap your mind around that type of love? That unearned sacrifice? I can’t—but I do know that I am alive because of His grace,saved because of His grace, covered in His grace, swimming in His grace and if it wasn’t for His grace I couldn’t get through an hour, let alone a day. His depth of love is deeper than anything that I’ve ever known. Now that I have experienced His overwhelming love and grace, I want everyone to experience that same love and grace and can’t keep it to myself–it overflows from me. Brennan Manning who wrote “The Ragamuffin Gospel” ( a must read !) always says “All is grace” and I couldn’t agree more.
    God bless you and your family with His infinite grace.

  3. Michael, I finally had a chance to comment on your excellent post! It’s amazing how the one man on the cross was able to put his wall of pride down, acknowledge his sins, and open his heart and mind to accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Then Jesus simply assured him that he would join Him in Heaven. I am so thankful we have a loving and forgiving God! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

  4. Great Post Michael. It is amazing how us as men think we have to earn everything. With Jesus the gift is free.

  5. ellavenezia says:

    Michael- When I realize the magnitude of His Grace, how can I not offer Grace to others? Thank you for this post!
    Blessings to you and your family!
    Ella

  6. A poet called Kabir lived in my country…he said that Grace of God is so great, it fills up your heart and mind, so full that you need to leave and give it space. When grace showers, there is no place for the ego. He asked everyone to stop praying for this and that, just pray that His grace falls on us and we are blessed, ‘cuz no one deserves God’s love, still he is benevolent to shower it upon us..

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