This is the second thing about this penitent thief: he feared God. Did Jesus mean, then, that the evildoer would join him in heaven? 2) Or we can acknowledge that we are sinners and don't deserve any good thing, and cry out for mercy and help in our time of desperation. Was Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me...” (meaning that “today” is when the thief would be in paradise)? Notice first how similar they are. He had no desire to save face any more; he had no more will to assert himself. Now he pleads for help. Both are guilty of crime ("We are receiving the due reward of our deeds," v. 41). Jesus didn’t die and go to the Netherworld of Sheol; he inhabits paradise. Have you ever listened to two people describe an … If the comma is simply deleted after “you” and instead inserted after “today,” the meaning changes significantly—and agrees with the rest of the Bible. You can have all this world, give me Jesus. We do not think the same or act the same because we serve a different Master. "If you're such a good jack, jack me down off this cross, Jesus." Both are suffering the pain of crucifixion. “And he said, Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom. "If you're such a good jack, jack me up out of this sickness, out of this financial mess, out of this lousy job, out of this crummy marriage.". 2) "Jesus, remember when you come into your kingdom!" In Revelation 22:1 John said, "Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. How can we reason on what Jesus must have meant? Fourth, not only did he admit to wrong and guilt, he accepted his punishment as deserved. That's the way one whole segment of humans relates to God in suffering. Luke 23:39-43 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” What a wonderful and comforting scripture that is. We will go back and read a few verses leading up to the second statement. This morning we have come to the second of those gracious and powerful sayings, with a promise to humanity. Now what motive does Jesus give us to follow in the steps of the penitent thief? Then you get it out, let it do the dirty work, and put it away again. What a picture of a spiritually destitute, worldly man. “I Tell You The Truth, Today You Will Be with Me In Paradise.” Text: Luke 23:43 As we come to the second “words of the cross,” we find ourselves listening to a deathbed conversation between three dying men. "Today you will be with me in paradise." Paying attention to what the early church prayed for can help keep your prayer life from falling into a rut. It's a hopeless tack, anyway, before an all-knowing God! There is a fearful silence toward the railing thief: not a word recorded of Jesus to him. And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? 43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." He was here and laid open before the God he feared and there was no way to hide his guilt. 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. Today, you will stand with me as we fight racism, and classism, and homophobia, and hunger, and discrimination, and homelessness, and poverty… Today the systems of injustice are made just and powers and principalities are overturned to rid the world of corruption and darkness... Today… truly… you will be with me in Paradise ” And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Please notice that this criminal was not saved from or spared his earthly punishment. '” (Luke 23:42-43). This page last updated: February 13, 2020. But it matters a lot to Jesus if we think his life was good or bad. He fears God, admits wrong, accepts justice, acknowledges the goodness and power of Jesus. It reminds me of that great spiritual, "When I come to die, give me Jesus . "We are under the sentence of condemnation justly." But there are only a few who own up to the fact that God owes us nothing, and that any good to come our way will be due to his mercy, not our merit. But then the ways divide between these two thieves and between two categories of people. He is author of. No hope. "But he rebuked him saying, 'Do you not fear God?"' Third, the penitent thief admitted that he had done wrong: "We are receiving the due reward of our deeds" (v. 41). The word "paradise" is used three times in the New Testament (ESV). There would not even be a delay. By using the word "today," Jesus was stressing the time of His promise—not the time He would be in Paradise. Paul says “..absent from the body, present with Christ”. And if we are to follow his example, we will have to stand our ground and not be sucked in by the people all around us who say, "If your God is so great and loving, then why the 20 kids shot in Atlanta?" Suffering interrupts their private, worldly goals and pleasures. To him right and wrong, praise and blame, good and bad are of no interest: his one objective is to save his earthly skin. It never entered his mind that he should say he was sorry and should change. The word is found in two other places in the New Testament. “And he said to him: ‘Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise,’” (Luke 23:43 NWT). (Luke 23:43) "And I know that this man -- whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows -- was caught up to paradise. 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