On Trial for You
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The criminal justice system is in place for most countries to deliver justice for all, by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent. If we were wrongly accused, we could make an appeal, but that would depend on if you have enough money to cover the lawyer fees. If you don’t have enough money and a judgement has gone against you, then there is little that you can do unless that country has legal aid available. It would be very terrible and very unfair to be wrongly accused. We would feel betrayed by the justice system.
Jesus was on the cross with two criminals. The trial and conviction of Jesus was illegal as he was arrested in secret at night without any formal charges and prosecuted by those who were already against him. The judges were the same individuals who bribed Judas and proceeded to have a trial at night when it is against the law to have a trial at night. The one criminal understood and saw that Jesus did nothing wrong. Jesus had a great reputation among all people so that the Sanhedrin had to lay false charges against him. According to the Bible, we fall short of the glory of God. We should be punished justly for our sins, but Jesus changed all of that. We should be very grateful that he wants us to be in paradise and made the decision to be wrongly accused and sentenced to death in our place.