Missed Opportunities: Time Out!

Luke 23:39-43
39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, [j]“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said [k]to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Two thieves on a cross, they know this is it, for sure their fate has been sealed. There they are in pain and agony waiting for one thing, death! In between them is someone also suffering the same fate as they are but he is not a thief like them. From the way these two interact with Jesus you can tell they knew about him and all the things he had done.
The first one does not recognize the opportunity right before him or maybe he does but the way he approaches the whole issue is off. He says if you are the Christ, save yourself and us. The truth of the matter is that Jesus was and is the Christ. This thief was question the identity of Jesus and because he was unsure about his identity, he did not recognize the opportunity that was right before him. In fact, because he did not know the Christ that was right before him, he was only concerned about being saved from the cross, his focus was on the here and now.
His companion on the other hand had a different revelation and he recognized the opportunity right before him. He knew who Jesus was and he knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong to deserve being on that cross but most importantly he recognized that Jesus was a king and his kingdom was not of this world. That is why he does not ask Jesus to save him from the cross because he knew he deserved that because of his deeds. Instead his focus is on the after life, where he knows that Jesus is king and that is where he asks to be remembered. Jesus promises him that on that very day the two of them would be together in paradise.
I often wonder why the other thief on hearing this did not jump at the opportunity, maybe he did not believe after all.
Some opportunities come to us suddenly and we only have a short frame of time to maximize on them. If we miss them then they are gone forever and we will never see them again. That was the case for the two thieves on the cross. One took the opportunity becoming the very first person to benefit from the death and resurrection of Christ while the other missed it.
What are some of the opportunities you have lost because you did not act quickly enough?
Looking at the reaction of the first thief, have you ever lost an amazing opportunity because you had the wrong attitude?
What does Jesus’ response teach you about God and his promises?