Law & Gospel on Golgatha's Hill

There is a clear distinction, in Lutheran Theology, between Law and Gospel. In fact, Walther woite a whole book titled Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible. This is so clearly delineated that in a proper Lutheran Sermon you can almost immediately find the division between the two. Under this type of teaching, I have grown in understanding how to rightly “divide” the Word of God and it has unscrambled many areas that were quite muddied under evangelical and reformed preaching and teaching.

Today as I was reading the Bible Study Lesson, Luke 23:1-56 I had to stop and re-read this portion:

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him (Jesus), saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he (Jesus) said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (vs 39-43)

This may be a familiar recounting of the historic event of Jesus’ crucifixion to many, but something stood out to me today rather starkly: Law & Gospel.