The Good Thief
What motivated the thief on the cross next to Jesus to ask that he be remembered by Jesus? Was fear, a last chance insurance, the reason?
I believe that the thief had come to the point where fear was long past. As he hung on the cross there was nothing left to fear. He reviewed his life recognizing that he and the other thief were judged fairly and deserved the penalty. As he looked at Jesus, who was judged innocent by Pilate, he saw a man who was about to die without complaint. A man who was being mocked, a man who had suffered scourging, beatings and now the agony of crucifixion and yet he did not complain and even asked that those who torture him be forgiven.
The thief confessed his sin and repented and asked Christ to remember him in heaven. What this is can only be seen as repentance, acknowledgement of Christ as Lord, and public confession of his faith.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.