Prayer: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Oh Lord, open our minds to Your glory. Oh Lord, open our hearts to Your calling. Oh Lord, open our souls to Your love. This we ask in the name of Your son. Amen.
Luke 23: 39 – 43
With Jesus at the place of the Skull are two criminals. One of the criminals begin to hurl insults at Jesus. Yet it is the other criminal who responds first. He responds by telling the criminal who had been hurling insults at Jesus that they are under the same sentence as Jesus but they are punished for their deeds while Jesus has done nothing wrong.
How did this second criminal know that Jesus had done nothing wrong? Had he been part of the crowds that listened to Jesus’ teaching? Had he been nearby when Jesus was sentenced? We don’t know. But what we do know is this man did commit a crime and knew of the punishment for the crime he committed as well as (and most importantly), he asked Jesus to remember him in His kingdom. This man knew that Jesus was the Son of God. Amazing.
But this scripture passage does not end with the criminal asking Jesus to remember him in His kingdom. This scripture passage continues with Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23: 43 NIV Zondervan, 1983)
Jesus not only talks to the criminal but also confirms that after death, the criminal will be in heaven. Wow. What do you think the criminal thought at that very moment? Do you think the criminal would have been amazed at Jesus’ words? Jesus’ words would have brought comfort to the criminal.
Today you will be with me in paradise…. Today you will be with me in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not only in heaven but also here on earth in each of our hearts and lives.
Have you ever been amazed at Jesus’ words in the Bible? Have you ever read a portion of scripture and found comfort?
Prayer: Great God, our lives are changed when we remember You. We thank You that today and at the end of our lives, we are with You in paradise. Continue to heal us today O Lord, and make us whole so that we can share Your love with our family and our friends and our community. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the World, grant us Your peace. Amen.