The image shown is entitled, The Penitent Thief. The lower hand is that of the penitent criminal in Luke 23. This criminal, crucified next to Jesus, is sometimes referred to as Dismas. The middle hand is that of the second thief crucified next to Jesus. Finally, the topmost hand is Jesus’.
Dismas was a criminal, a malefactor, a doer of evil. He was sentenced to death. Dismas was at the bottom of the first century Palestinian eco-system.
On the cross, next to Jesus, something remarkable happened. Dismas confessed his sin and declared Jesus to be innocent. Next, he gave us the first direct indication of faith in the dying Messiah. This half dead, corrupt man, surged forward in faith to rely on the grace of Christ.
In the image, blood drips from the hand of Christ. The second thief lets the blood of Christ pass him by. The believing, repentant Dismas reaches out to catch a drop of Christ’s blood.
Later that day, made clean by the blood of Christ, Dismas joined Jesus in paradise.
Despite his background, Dismas believed in Jesus and he was saved. Never too late.