A CHILD'S LIFE OF JESUS

THIEVES
Nabal was a thief who died on a cross next
to Jesus' cross.  He took things from
people that did not belong to him.  That is
stealing.

He took things by lying.  Someone would
give him money to take care of for them.  
He would write in a book less than they
really gave him so he wouldn't have to give
it all back.  He kept the rest for himself.  
That is stealing.

Ahab was a thief too.  He took things by
waiting until someone wasn't looking.  He
took things from houses and coin purses
and yards and stores.  That, too, is
stealing.

Nabal and Ahab were caught and put in
jail.  In those days, if someone was a real
bad thief, he was put to death, often on a
cross.

When Nabal and Ahab were crucified and
found out Jesus was being crucified
between them, they got mad at Jesus.

"You said you were the Son of God and
could do miracles.  If that's true, then
make yourself float down off your cross
and get us down the same way," they said.

Jesus, of course, would not do that.  He
could have, but he wanted to die in our
place.  This made the thieves even madder.

But after Jesus said some other things,
Nabal decided he believed in Jesus after
all.  Maybe he remembered how Jesus had
brought Lazarus back to life a few weeks
earlier.

So the next time Ahab got mad at Jesus
for not getting them down from their
crosses, Nabal shouted to Ahab, "Leave
Jesus alone.  We deserve to die, but not
him."

Then Nabal turned to Jesus and said,
"When you enter your kingdom in heaven,
don't forget me.  Don't leave me behind.  
I believe in you."

Jesus hadn't started his church yet so the
Jewish religious laws were still good.  He
said to Nabal, "When you die today, you
will join me in paradise."

Then, just before Jesus died, he told God
he was returning to him.  How wonderful it
was.  When Jesus died, he woke up with
God his father.

How they must have rushed toward each
other.  How God must have embraced his
Son and said, "I'm so proud of you."

Then Jesus looked around and saw all the
other people in Paradise who were waiting
for Jesus to be brought back to life so
they could be saved in heaven forever.  
How happy they were.

After awhile, guess who came to join
them?  It was the thief Nabal.  He had
died and was saved in paradise too.  
Everyone who sees Jesus after they die is
happy.  Very, very happy.