One of the best gifts God has given us is free will or freedom of choice. This key is making good decisions. When we think about the 3 on the cross, we learn of 2 decisions: rejection, and reception.
The 1st thief made a conscious decision to reject Christ with insults. The greek bible says, "began to use injurious and insulting language" - a much stronger term. The 2nd thief made a conscious decision to receive Christ by asking to be remembered when Christ ascends to His kingdom. He admonishes the other thief for his dishonor and explains Jesus is being wrongfully charged when they actually belong on the cross. Jesus was in the depth of disgrace, suffering as a deceiver, and not delivered by his Father. The thief made this profession before all that were present. His display of honor put honor on Christ's suffering. Observe his humility in his prayer. All his request is, Lord, remember me; quite referring it to Jesus in what way to remember him. Thus he was humbled in true repentance,
See the 1st thief had no idea he was talking to the Jesus Christ, the Son of God, soon to be resurrected. The decisions we make matter. Christ choose redemption. He chooses to forgive both of them. What?!? Yes, Christ died and rose again for EVERYONE'S sins - Jews and Gentiles. The problem is, the 1st thief chose rejection and the second chose to be the redeemed of the Lord. The truth is, you never know when you are going to go. It is important now to make the correct decisions. What in your life is causing you to reject Christ? Is it TV, pleasure, insecurity, slothfulness? You have two choices Reject or Receive Christ. It is time to fine tune our walk. If we say we love Jesus, then our decision to follow Christ should reflect this. WE should be careful how we treat each other. The world is watching. If no one can see Jesus in you, then we need to reevaluate our decision.