Stealing is a crime punishable by law. When a thief is caught, he can be killed by irritated crowd or he can be judged and sent to the prison to spend a jail term according to the penal code relating to the crime. Stealing is also a sin. It originated from the Devil who stole peace, joy and dominion authority given to mankind in the Garden of Eden. Jesus Christ reminded us in the scripture that, ‘The thief [Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy …” (John 10:10) Evil people takes this evil skill as a profession. If a thief does not repent his sin, even after serving several years in prison, he is still subject to the judgment of God at last.
Stealing generally has a negative connotation. But in basketball game, when a basketball player cleverly snatches a ball from the opponent player to deny him from a two-point dunk that he is about to make, they call it a steal. The crowd will applaud for the smart move. The basketball statistic always rate the skilled player by the number of the steals he made per game. Also, when you get a good bargain in a real estate transaction or with a car dealer whereby you pay a ridiculous low amount for your purchase compared with its actual market value because the owner needed cash urgently, people called it a steal because of the profitable bargain you are able to secure.
The event of crucifixion of Jesus Christ revealed that there were two thieves crucified with Him. “And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.” (Mark 15:27) Also in book of Luke, it was stated that, “One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43) NAS
Penitent thief was smart because while on the cross by the side of our Lord Jesus Christ who also was on the Cross, just before he died, he acknowledged his sins and accepted the deserving judgment, repented of those sins and finally he subscribed to the salvation through Jesus Christ the Son of God. If you say he stole his way to embrace salvation, you may not be far from truth, because he got a good bargain for his salvation. He paid nothing for it when he repented of his sins. He even got a bonus for being the first person to be with Jesus Christ in Paradise. That was a smart move. Repent today in order to get a good bargain for eternity of rest in the bosom of Abraham the place where there is no tears nor sorrow.
Prayer: O Lord, let me see the ugliness of my sinful life in the mirror of Your righteousness so that I can repent and make my ways right before you, in Jesus name, Amen.