WHAT MADE THE CRUCIFIED THIEF REPENT?
by Shawn Brasseaux
At the beginning of the crucifixion, both thieves (or malefactors, criminals) mocked Jesus Christ hanging on the cross. But then, one thief had a drastic change in mind and heart. Why?
We begin reading at Luke 23:33: “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.” By the way, you must have a King James Bible to read of “Calvary” here. Modern English versions remove the term—you cannot sing or teach about “Calvary’s cross” if your Bible never says anything about it!
During Jesus’ crucifixion, He was subjected to much taunting and laughter. The common Jews mocked Him, so did their religious leaders and the Roman soldiers. Even the two crucified thieves criticized Him as a fraud. “The thieves also, which were crucified with him cast the same in his teeth” (Matthew 27:44).
Verses 34-39 of Luke chapter 23 continue: “ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.  And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided [ridiculed] him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.  And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,  And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.  And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”
Later, one of the thieves had a change in heart: “ But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.” Evidently, the thief read the superscription and believed it, and Jesus Christ guaranteed his soul salvation! Verses 42 and 43 conclude: “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise!” The convicted thief, being nailed to a cross himself, unable to do anything else, saw the sign over Jesus’ head—“THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” So, he cried to out to Jesus in faith: “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom!” The thief saw and trusted Jesus as “King” and “Lord” indeed.
SUPPLEMENTAL: THE MODERN-VERSION PERVERSION OF LUKE 23:42
People often ask why we make such a “big deal” about using the King James Bible. We already saw how modern English versions remove the word “Calvary” from Luke 23:33. This is significant because that term “Calvary” no longer has a Biblical basis; it can no longer be rightly called a “Scriptural” term. Do you see how dangerous the modern-version issue is? But, there is something more serious in the modern versions concerning this passage. Most never catch their error. I will gladly expose them for you, my friend.
The modern versions, following their handful of underlying corrupted Greek manuscripts from Alexandria (Egypt), do not contain the title “Lord” (kurie) in Luke 23:42. Rather than the King James expression (supported in most Greek manuscripts), “He said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me…,” the thief in a modern version says, “Jesus, remember me…” (NASB, NIV, HCSB, Amplified, ESV, NLT, NRSV, The Voice, et cetera). That is, the modern English versions—so-called “bibles”—have removed a reference to Jesus being “Lord!” Furthermore, they have hidden the thief’s testimony, his acknowledgement of Jesus not simply being “King” but also the “Lord.” This is just one of the dozens of places where the modern versions do this. They hide the correlation that the Jesus of the New Testament is the “Lord” (JEHOVAH) of the Old Testament. Since these Bible editors and translators have such a low opinion of the Lord Jesus Christ, why would we want to use their worthless manuscripts and useless books as the bases for our lives? Once again, a simple verse shows us that the King James Bible is theologically superior to all the modern English versions and all their manuscripts combined!!!!