Luke 23 – WE believe, confess, repent, and die figuratively when “we are buried with him, by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). The penitent thief believed, confessed, repented, and died literally, after he had been accepted by the dying Jesus: and thus he became the first one to be baptized into Christ.

So what does this mean to our brother or sister who, in his or her humility, feels unworthy, as every right thinking brother or sister feels? Here, surely, is God, showing with emphasis how far He is willing and eager to go to save His children. “The Lord is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The first one to be baptized into Christ in the Christian dispensation was not someone we might have selected, to put him on a pedestal and say, “There is someone you can look up to and follow”. No, the first one was a common criminal, but one who realised his helplessness and his need, and looked on the only example to be followed, that of the One “who had done nothing amiss”.

LESLIE EVANS, The Christadelphian, 1977, pages 216,217.