On: August 26, 2015 | By: SWLadmin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43
One of those hanging beside Jesus was listening in. He decided to accept Jesus. The response was immediate. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” I wonder if the guy on the other side heard this, yet continued to insult Jesus.
We are reminded that two people can be presented with the same evidence, yet come to polar opposite conclusions. It appears that Jesus didn’t try to persuade the insulter of the error of his ways. He simply told the repentant man that, having turned from his sinful life, he would be in paradise that very day.
There’s no space here to ponder the process of what happens when we die. It is clear, though, thatby throwing in our lot with Jesus, the outcome could not be better. For this complete reversal was not just a special offer for one day only: God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:8,19
What does this paradise we are promised look like? We are given some sneak previews in the book of Revelation:
No wonder the apostle Paul couldn’t decide whether it was better to continue on Earth or be taken up to Heaven: If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. Philippians 1:22-23
I guess we will only feel secure about life here and now, with all it’s challenges and certainties, when we are sure about our eternal destination. For the robber at Jesus’s side, he didn’t have long to wait.
Father God, reveal to me as much as I can understand of what my eternal home will be like. That I might stand secure here on Earth and have something wonderful to share with others. Amen