I feel today's reading is one of the strongest statements that Jesus Christ is in fact God found in the Bible. If you have not read it yet, please take a moment to do so.
The fact that Jesus was in fact God, is a key element of the Christian faith. We must believe in the deity of Jesus or our Christian faith is hollow, misaligned, and without meaning. We must know in our hearts that Jesus is the visible manifestation of God, our eternal creator, and our reconciler who has supremacy in the universe and the Church. As Christians we must oppose those who state that Jesus was merely a prophet or a good teacher.
These verses also relay another important Christian belief. No one is good enough to save him or herself. If we want to live eternally with Christ in heaven, we must depend totally on God's grace. It does not matter if we are criminals or good law abiding citizens, we have all sinned repeatedly. Our sins are forgiven by the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on Good Friday. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior to have our sins forgiven and to receive eternal life.
When a judge in a court of law declares a defendant not guilty, the defendant has been acquitted of all charges. Legally it is as if he or she was never charged with the offense in the first place. The record is wiped clean. When God forgives our sins, our record is wiped clean too. It is as if we never committed the sin in the first place. This outcome is available to anybody. No matter what any of us has done or what kind of life we have led, God's forgiveness is available for all of us and if we truly seek it we will find it.