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The Romans crucified two revolutionaries on both sides of the true revolutionary of God’s love, Jesus. During the time of the public ministry of Jesus, there were Jewish revolutionaries like Barabbas who fought against the Roman rule. Jesus’ crucifixion amid two wicked men was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:12, “he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.”

Bible does not give the names of the two rebels. However, they are known as Dismas and Gestas based on a non-canonical book, “The Gospel of Nicodemus” written in the fourth century.


Gestas, known as “Impenitent Thief,” asked Jesus, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us” (Lk 23:39). He mocked Jesus for being helpless despite claiming to be a powerful savior capable of miracles. Dismas, the one crucified alongside them, sensed the negativity in his questioning. So, he rebuked Gestas asking, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal” (Lk 23:40-41). Just like Dismas, Jesus would have given Gestas spiritual salvation if he had asked for it.


Dismas, known as “Good Thief” or “Penitent Thief,” asked Jesus while on the cross, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). Dismas approached with faith and an implied repentance. His conviction was that Jesus is the King who was building his spiritual kingdom and ascending to his heavenly realm. Jesus responded, “Truly, I tell you, today you will join me in Paradise,” giving him hope for eternal joy in heaven. The Catholic Church considers Dismas as a saint and celebrates his feast on March 25th.


Dismas’s story emphasizes the transformative power of repentance. Despite his past, his recognition of Jesus’s innocence and his plea for mercy illustrate that it is never too late to turn to God. This teaches Christians about the boundless grace and forgiveness available through Jesus.

Dismas’s admission of his own guilt and acknowledgment of Jesus’s innocence demonstrate profound humility and acceptance of personal responsibility. Christians are reminded to be humble, acknowledge their sins, and seek forgiveness.

Despite being in extreme pain and near death, Dismas shows remarkable faith in Jesus, recognizing His kingship and divine nature. This teaches Christians to maintain their faith even in the most difficult circumstances.

The differing reactions of Dismas and Gestas to Jesus highlight the choices people make when confronted with the divine. The contrast between Gestas’ mockery and lack of faith and Dismas’s repentance and belief serves as a lesson on responding positively to Jesus’s message.

The exchange between Jesus and Dismas highlights Jesus’s boundless grace and mercy. Despite being in excruciating pain and facing death, Jesus extends grace to a repentant sinner. This illustrates that Jesus’s compassion and willingness to forgive are not limited by circumstances and are always available to those who seek Him.

Dismas was a criminal, an outcast by societal standards, yet he received Jesus’s promise of paradise. This teaches that salvation through Jesus is available to everyone, regardless of their past. It challenges Christians to embrace inclusivity and recognize that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace.

Dismas’s plea, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” shows his recognition of Jesus’s kingship and divine authority. This encourages Christians to acknowledge and submit to Jesus’s lordship in their lives, trusting in His power and authority.

Jesus’s words provided Dismas with hope and comfort in his final moments. For Christians, this teaches that Jesus brings hope and comfort even in the midst of suffering and death. It reassures believers that Jesus is with them in their trials and that their faith will ultimately lead to eternal peace.

By forgiving Dismas, Jesus demonstrates that He prioritizes forgiveness over condemnation. This teaches Christians to adopt a posture of forgiveness towards others, recognizing the transformative power of grace over judgment.

Jesus’s response to Dismas on the cross serves as a powerful reminder of the core tenets of the Christian faith: repentance, grace, forgiveness, and the promise of eternal life. It encourages believers to seek and extend forgiveness, to maintain hope in adversity, and to trust in the all-encompassing love and mercy of Jesus. This moment on the cross underscores the message that salvation is accessible to all who turn to Jesus in faith, offering profound hope and assurance to Christians everywhere.

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