Jesus promises his kingdom to the repentant thief

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

(Luke 23:39-43)

Jesus was crucified next to two thieves. One thief mocked Jesus, but the other confessed that Jesus was the Messiah. Upon hearing this confession, Jesus told the thief, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

Confession is central to the Christian life. It’s acknowledging that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and it’s also acknowledging that we are sinners in need of Jesus.  You just spent time confessing your sins and nailing them to the cross, now as you prepare to receive communion, thank God for the body and blood of Jesus that offers this gift of forgiveness.

In Communion, we receive Jesus’ true body and blood that He shed for us on the cross. By Jesus dying on the cross 2,000 years ago, we, who were once enemies of God, can now be reconciled to Him. When we receive the elements of communion, we are receiving that forgiveness that Jesus won for us on the cross. If you are baptized, and believe these things, welcome to the table of our Lord.