A merchant, is going to the marketplace. He sells pottery there.
He has not seen a crowd this size in the marketplace for weeks. He recognizes some of his customers, milling around in the crowd.
He sees that there are three crosses. “These must be some hardened criminals? The news is they are thieves.
The merchant gets drawn into the crowd. Most of the attention is directed to the one on the middle cross. .
The crowd becomes unruly. A man standing near him shouts, “He saved others; let him come down and save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mock him. They taunt him, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
“Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourselves and us!” One of the thieves said as an insult.
“Don’t you fear God,” the other thief came back,“since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then the second thief said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
“What’s this . . .paradise? What does he mean?” The merchant thought a little while. “Could this be true? Could this man Jesus really be the Son of God?”