Lesson: The Two Criminals on the Crosses

Luke 23:32-43

Note: this discussion can get really intense, which is good.  This lesson may not be suitable for classes that do not engage in free discussions.

The two sinners represent the two kinds of people on Earth: those who put their faith in Jesus and those who don't.  There's no dispute on whether mankind is sinful or not.  The issue is how we face it and what we do with the third person who's not sinful -- Jesus.

Subject \ Person

Criminal 1

Criminal 2

Serious criminal



Knowledgeable of his sin

Yes - knows he needs to be saved





Accepting punishment

Unclear, but probably not


Believes in Jesus



Spending eternity

In hell

With Jesus


1.      How can Criminal 2 be saved by just saying two right sentences?!

2.      Can a horrible sinner be saved at the last minute?  What happens to his past deeds?

3.      What does it take for a serious sinner to repent and believe in Jesus?  He would have to admit that all his past bad deeds are indeed bad, and for many it's hard because of pride.  Pride has led more people to hell than any other characteristics.  Everyone sins, but pride prevents many from admitting he has sinned and accepting Jesus.

This lesson was developed by George Huang.  Got a question or want to publish this lesson?  E-mail me.

Last updated: 11/1/2003