This was their last opportunity to speak to Jesus and request whatever they desired.
The first man was not sorry for the evil deeds he had done. He had no interest in Jesus; he only asked him to spare him from death. He desired to return to his former manner of life and continue to enjoy the pleasures this world can offer. Jesus did not answer him. The man died and he was eternally lost.
The heart of the other man, conscious of his guilt, was gripped by the fear of God. He believed that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the King who will reign forever. He wanted to be with Jesus even though the people nearby were insulting and ridiculing him. So he requested Jesus to remember him. Jesus granted his request. Today he is enjoying fellowship with the King in paradise.
This is the story of the two criminals who were crucified along with Jesus. This is also my story and your story. For we too have sinned against the Almighty; we have broken God's law; we are criminals in His eyes. We too stand on the brink of eternity to face judgment. We too must choose between sin and repentance, and between this present evil world and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Friend, what is your choice? What is your heart's desire? What will you ask Jesus?