Word #2 – Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
After seeking the Father’s strength and pleading for forgiveness for this crowd, Jesus turns his attention to the two arguing and guilty thieves – one on each side of himself on smaller crosses. They had been talking among themselves as to the strange events of this day. The morning began in a rather mundane fashion. By noon they were on the cross, and now before 3 PM a large crowd has gathered and this supposed Messiah was gaining more attention than both on them combined.
Strange indeed it is what all can transpire in a few short hours of a single day. The context begs the question…Did they understand when they started their day that it would be their last day on this earth? Psalm 90:12 should shout to our hearts “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
One thief chooses to remain in his craziness and cursing of the Master. It is the other thief who has now come to his senses and called upon Christ. Perhaps his life flashed before him. Crime, dishonesty, guilt, a trail of lost and broken relationships flooded his mind. The mocking he heard, the sign he read, the hardened heart of his fellow criminal…did God use these things to speak to his heart?
In a moment of time, this man’s future was secured. His eternal destiny was changed. All of the alienation from God in his past, as well as the condemnation of his life are now solved by a personal salvation experience with Jesus Christ. Jesus promised him a paradise of garden-like atmosphere and the truth is this, for all of us who are Christians, Heaven will be beyond any of our expectations. Praise the Lord!
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Word #2 from the Cross
By Dave Childers