On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, He was not alone – there were three crosses:
With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left. -Mark 15:27, NAB
St. Mark’s Gospel does not go into great detail about those crucified with Christ, but the Gospel of St. Luke does. It’s a story of Christ’s ultimate ability to forgive, and one of my favorite stories from the Bible:
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” -Luke 23:39-43, NAB
One of the criminals mocked Jesus, just as the world often mocks God today, but the other criminal stopped him. First, the criminal admits that he has earned his place on that cross. Then, realizing who Jesus really was, asks Jesus to remember him when He gets to Heaven.
This man, after a life of wickedness, in the very last moments of his life, repents and asks Jesus to remember him. Some might think that it is too late – his sins are too great and he has waited too long – however, Jesus responds much differently. Christ tells him, “… today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:43).” Amazing.
Christ showed us that there is no sin too great for Him to forgive. He also showed us that it is never too late to receive forgiveness. Regardless of our sinful past, anyone can turn to Jesus and seek the grace and forgiveness that only He can give – it’s never too late.