“Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus spoke these words to one who was crucified on a cross next to His own. There was nothing the sinner did to earn those words from Jesus, nothing was done to earn his way into paradise. The crucified sinner simply voiced his belief in the innocence of Jesus who died a sinner’s death. There was no time to be concerned about food, water and physical health; no time to worry about his safety; no time to be concerned about social backlash; no time to think about self-image; and no time to be concerned about being all he could be. With the only thing he had left, his faith and belief in Jesus, he says, “Jesus, Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” There were no choirs singing, no certificates of Church membership, and no great works of Christian charity. Just a simple belief and expression of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven would be his one reward. “Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
A simple declaration of faith in the work of Christ on the Cross accomplishes our salvation.
1) The crucified sinner was brought into the presence of God, reconciled to the Spirit of
God, which would come about in his entrance into the Kingdom of God.
2) The crucified sinner admitted that the punishment he was receiving was justified
because of his sin. Then went on to say that Jesus had done nothing wrong. He
asked Jesus to remember him when He entered into His Kingdom.
3) Jesus promised, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Faith in the Cross of Christ is
our only way to be reconciled to God. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
4) Being set apart from the world is essential in having a right relationship with God
through the Cross of Christ. Here is an example, “One of the criminals who hung there
hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other
criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” We need to separate ourselves from the
worldly insults of the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess our reverence for Christ who is
5) Heaven is an eternal destiny for all those who can admit that we are not perfect!
Simply to admit that we are sinners. Then to know that what Jesus did on the Cross is
for the remission of sin. We all know someone whose life has been changed
because of the message of the Cross. It is real! This world is not our home, but we
have an eternal Home in the New Jerusalem.
We are the Temple of God, so the words we want to hear within our spirit is, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” When our spirit and soul are troubled and hurting, the world is hostile to us, and we don’t seem to be surviving from day to day, we don’t feel much like the dwelling place of God. We might feel like shouting, “Where are you God?” “Aren’t you the messiah? Save yourself and us!” But there will be an answer from within the Temple of God, “Don’t you fear God? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” As we allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us of the nature of sin and rebellion, we will look at Christ on the Cross and know that is Him in us. We will take up our Cross daily to maintain the Holiness within the House of God. As we abide in Christ we will hear the words, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 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 23:39-43