By Oscar M Baker
>>>>>>>>>>>> Malefactor Or Thief? <<<<<<<<<<<<
Which was it, one of the malefactors or one of the thieves who received the promise of paradise on Calvary? This is the question I was asked. If you read the account carefully as made by Luke you find two malefactors were LED WITH HIM out to the place of execution. One reviled. The other rebuked the first. There is no word here about repentance. He must have known the Lord before this and something of the charges against him, for he said the Lord had done nothing for which he should suffer. That is some indication he may have believed this was the Christ some time before.
When we read the account by Matthew, we read nothing of any malefactors or anybody else being led out with Him. But after they had hanged him on the tree, and had gambled for His garments, THEN WERE THERE TWO THIEVES CRUCIFIED WITH HIM. Both thieves reviled. There is not a word about either thief repenting or believing.
Then can we answer the final question. How many were executed that day on Calvary? There were five; the Lord, two malefactors, and two thieves. We should be very careful that we read the Word just as it is, nothing added, nothing taken away. When we read traditions and peculiar beliefs into the Word, we get back only confusion. OMB Oct. 1948