Thursday, November 13, 2008

In Paradise

November 13: Luke 23 & John 18-19

32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:32-43

In Paradise

Luke, the physician, often brought more detail into his account of the events taking place. Such is the case here with the two thieves who were also being crucified, one on the right and the other on the left of Christ.

It must have looked like to end to most people; Christ, who claimed to be the Son of God, was not able to save Himself from this cruel death on the cross. It was a busy place! Many, including the soldiers, mocked Him, while others cast lots for his garments.

Seeing all of this, one of the thieves railed at Him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” How did the other thief respond?

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Two thieves--two responses; both were viewing the same events, yet each reacted in a different way. One would be cast into hell while the other would be with Christ in Paradise that very day!

Before God, there are only two classes of people: the believers and the unbelievers. The Gospel is revealed to both, yet their responses are entirely different. When all is said and done, that should be the only true concern for Christians; that is why we are here!

Christ said He came to divide--indeed, He came to divide the sheep from the goats. Which group are you in?

Only through Christ can you be assured that you, too, will be with Christ in Paradise.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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