LXXI. The Dying Thief.

LUKE xxiii. 42. “And he
said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into
Thy kingdom.”

THE abandoned robber proved himself in this last distress,
to be one of the greatest men that ever lived in this world.
I. He saw the Lord in the victim. Others reviled the
weak, defied the impotent, crushed the worm. Learn from
this strange teacher, that victim and Lord are compatible
terms.
II. This malefactor, a man who could have played
with thrones and nations, saw life beyond death. Con-
sider where he is—on the cross bleeding. His breath will
presently be gone. Is he a beast thrust through that will
baptize the earth with red water and exhale and blend with
the infinite azure? He is not conquered; he dies to live.
“Lord,” said he, “remember me.” But you are dying:
No. You are to be buried: No. It is your last hour:
No. This man breathes eternity and creates kingdoms,
and sets up empires, and gives away thrones. Speak
thou in dying of life, of immortality, of kingdoms, of
thrones.
III. This dying malefactor spoke up for Christ. The
true Man is not utterly deserted. Some one will arise from
a corner unthought of to speak a kind word for Him. How
do we use our chance for speaking for Christ?
IV. This malefactor saw the kingdom beyond the cross.
He would be remembered on the other side. Could Christ
forget him? The last tongue that had a word to say
for Him, that spoke, with dying breath, with intolerable
agony, his tongue dropping blood while it dropped the
syllables. Is Christ the man to forget a chivalry like
that? No, no. There they went out together, Lord and
thief, innocence and evil. Like takes to like, says the
derisive man; The Sun purifies all things, says the Christian
believer.
J. P. (either Joseph Parker, D.D., John Peddie, D.D., or John Pulsford)