Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43 NIV)
Now why did Jesus do that? What in the world did He have to gain by promising this desperado a place of honor at the banquet table? What in the world could this chiseling quisling ever offer in return?... Nothing!
That’s the point. Listen closely. Jesus’ love does not depend upon what we do for Him. Not at all. In the eyes of the King, you have value simply because you are. You don’t have to look nice or perform well. Your value is inborn… Period.
Think about that for just a minute. You are valuable just because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are. Remember that. Remember that the next time you are left bobbing in the wake of someone’s steamboat of ambition. Remember that the next time some trickster tries to hang a bargain-basement price tag on your self-worth. The next time someone tries to pass you off as a cheap buy, just think about the way Jesus honors you… and smile.
– Max Lucado in His Passion: Christ’s Journey to the Resurrection