Are we all thieves?
Written on 11/23/19 at 18:56:40 EST by BenAvraham
 (a look at Luke 23:32,33 and 39-43) 

We are all familiar with the story about the two thieves who were
crucified next to Yeshua on Calvary. There was one on his right and
the other on his left. The disciples who wrote the gospels mention
that briefly, but it is in Luke that the conversation is recorded. We
will take a look at that in a while. But let’s first review “death by

Back in the Bible days, crucifixion was the worst death punishment
that the Romans could dish out. Crucifixion was not, however,
permitted for Roman citizens, only non-Romans would suffer that. Many
times, the way of death via Rome was decapitation, in the case of the
Apostle Paul, since he was a Roman citizen, he felt the ax on his
neck. Could one say it was a quick way to die? Perhaps, if the ax was
sharp and the headsman was swift and strong, little pain might have
been felt. We could always ask Rav Shaul once we get to Heaven.

There are many ways of death today; the hangman’s noose, the lethal
injection, the electric chair “Old Sparky” as it was referred to in
the movie; “The Green Mile” and of course knives, guns, killer
sharks, a car, drugs, etc.

The cross is popular to wear today because it reminds us of how
Yeshua died. Yet the cross is not an object of worship, it is only a
symbol, a symbol of suffering and death. In Messianic Judaism, we
find at times the cross in the middle of the Shield or “Star” of
David, the Menorah is also a symbol of Judaism. I wonder if Yeshua
had been born in these modern times, and being sentenced to death via
the electric chair, the hangman’s noose, or via lethal injection, if
people would be hanging mini electric chairs or hypodermic needles
around their necks?

The fact of the matter is that He did die on a cross, all of our sins
were nailed to that cross as well, NOT the Torah, only our sins. On
that hill called Calvary, there were three crosses, or ution
stakes. Three crosses and three people. Two were thieves and the
other took on the sin of thievery. Two were guilty and the other
assumed the condemnation of guilt.

Some rabbis have stated that all sin consists of some sort of theft.
If we lie , we are “stealing” the confidence that the other person
had in us. If we come back from lunch late, we are “stealing” time
from our employer. If one commits adultery, one is “stealing” what
doesn’t belong to him (or her). Also, the sin of murder is being
committed, the destruction of another relationship.

If we are walking on the beach and we come across a broken bottle in
the sand, and we fail to pick it up and throw it inside the plastic
trash bins, we are “stealing” the health of another person. A kid
might come by and accidentally step on it because the wind has blown
sand on top of it, thus hiding it from view. The kid, or “anyone”
will bleed and perhaps, an infection might ensue, all because we did
nothing to prevent it. We would also be standing “idly by while our
brother’s blood is spilled”

So, with that said, one could say that “we are all thieves” if we are
all sinners. So now, what was the difference between the two thieves
on the two crosses that were on either side of Mashiach? Let’s look
at Luke 23:32,33,39-43.

(32,33) “And there were also two other malefactors, led with him to
be put to death (via crucifixion). And when they were come to the
place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the
malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left…………………..
(39-43) “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him
saying, If thou be Messiah, save thyself and us. But the other
answering rebuked him saying; doest not thou fear God, seeing that
thou at in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly receive the
due reward for our deeds but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he
said unto Yeshua; ‘Adoni, remember me when thou comest into thy
kingdom’ And Yeshua said unto him; ‘Verily I say unto thee. Today
shalt thou be with me in paradise.’

(taken from Hebrew-English New Covenant)

Let’s read how the words in Hebrew were said in verses 42 and 43;
“Zach’reini na Adoni b’voakha b’malkhutekha (remember me lord when
you come into your kingdom) to which Yeshua responded; “Amein omer
Ani lecha ki HaYom tihyeih imadi b’gan eden” (So be it “amen” I say
unto you this day you will be with me in the Garden of Eden)

The first thief was filled with arrogance and wished to be freed from
death, even though he deserved it, as we all do, He was just thinking
of himself, had no remorse for his sins. This illustrates a major
part of humanity that lives to enjoy the things of the world and
never think of eternity.

The second thief was different. “We justly deserve our due rewards
for our needs, but this man has done nothing wrong” He realizes that
he is a sinner, and recognizes the sinlessness of Yeshua. Then he
calls Yeshua “Adoni” a way of saying “lord” (a title of honor) He
also recognizes Yeshua as a king because he has a “kingdom” He
doesn’t recite a sinner’s prayer, nor does he recite the “4 Spiritual
Laws” tract, He just says “remember me” “Zach’reini!”

That was all that was needed, Yeshua responds with “Amen” (so be it)
“You will be with me in paradise” as most translations render, but
the Hebrew words are “Gan Eden” the “Garden of Eden” So, we can now
imagine how “paradise” must have looked like…Or…Could we say that the
“Garden of Eden” was moved from the earth to “under” the earth? Since
paradise was “in the heart of the earth” and Yeshua “descended” to
there. Well, we can only imagine.

I can assure you that the thief is now in Heaven and has been there
these past 2000 + years. The same goes with the unrepentant thief, He
went to Hades when he died and is still there, suffering the agony of
pain, fire, and eternal separation from G-d. So, which thief are you?

So, to get down to brass tacks, salvation is a matter of
“remembering” what Yeshua did on the cross, and “remembering” our
state of sinfulness, and accepting HIS one-time sacrifice for our
sins. You can be sure that HE will remember YOU, when you breathe
your last.

Rabbi Ben Avraham 

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