Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

April 23, 2011

Luke 23:43, Page 1650

With Jesus in Paradise Today

“And He said to him,  ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'” 

       I have a friend who makes it his life to correct people when they are wrong.  He tells them what they are doing wrong, and how they are doing it wrong, and what they need to do to correct the problem.   He unloads on them, often because he has become angry with them.  For all recorded history, people are always telling other people how to live.  Each of us has a tendency, for good or for bad, to criticize others and tell them to act better.

       Save Yourself.  So many people want to rebuke people so that they will be able to help themselves.  They often think that personal action will make all the difference.  As Jesus hung crucified on the cross, a thief crucified next to Him gave Jesus some mocking advice: “Are You not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” (Luke 23:39, page 1649).   Let us learn a few lessons from this thief. 

       Never Tell Jesus What To Do.  This thief displayed all the attitudes that had put him on a cross, for crimes he had committed.  With his first question to Jesus, he mockingly implies that he does not really believe that Jesus is the Christ expected by all of Israel, a King who would deliver them from their physical enemies.  So often, we need to realize that Jesus did not come to fulfill our game plan for Him, but rather He came to fulfill the plan of salvation for all mankind.  Anytime we think about telling anyone else what expectations we have for them, we should pause first, and ask ourselves: What plans does Jesus have for this person?  If we ask the first question, then we can truly appreciate the second question.  The thief told Jesus to save Himself and us.

       Save Yourself and Save Us.   God ordained the events surrounding the crucifixion.  This thief perfectly illustrates in the words of one man the thoughts of the entire nation.  Jesus should save people, but save them according to their plans and their desires.  Rather than having to pay the penalty for his sin, the thief sought an easy way out, that he would create himself through commanding Jesus to save him from physical death.  Instead, the only way that thief would ever be saved from the penalty of his sin would be for Jesus to fulfill the plan of salvation, which meant Jesus must die for that thief and his sins.  It was just as if Jesus had died for the unlawful taking committed by the thief.  He died justly, as a thief.

       This Man Has Done Nothing Wrong.  Until you understand two things about Jesus, you will never understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  First, you deserve to suffer spiritually and physically because you are a sinner before God.   Second, Christ never sinned Himself, but died for all of your sin.  The other thief can teach us a few lessons also.  He rebuked the first thief because he did not fear God, and was dying under a sentence of condemnation.  When it comes time to rebuke another man, we should always do it with a sense of humility and base our words upon the the righteousness of Christ and His plans, not upon our own ideas of right and wrong.

       Jesus, Remember Me When You Come in Your Kingdom.   The second thief not only understood the fact that he himself deserved to die for his sins, but also that Jesus had done nothing wrong.      The second thief also knew it was not too late to talk to Jesus about eternity.  He said that he knew Jesus would be coming in His kingdom (Luke 23:41, page 1649).  I am very impressed with a man under a sentence of condemnation, knowing he was about to die, turning to Jesus and expressing understanding and faith.  Rather than ask Jesus to deliver him from the cross, he asked for eternity.  He asked for Jesus to remember Him.

       Today, You Shall Be with Me in Paradise.    The second thief heard beautiful words from Jesus.  Jesus had one more soul to save while still alive, though crucified.  He had one more message of salvation to preach before death.  Jesus died, to open Paradise to me and you.  Realize too that Jesus did not promise the thief something far in the future about His coming in His kingdom.  No, Jesus promised the second thief that TODAY they would be together in Paradise.  While they wait for the return of the Jesus as the King of the Kingdom of God, they would spend their time together in Paradise.

        So we learn more about Jesus today.

       ●  Jesus saved even a thief on the cross, as they both died a terrible death.  No matter what you have done, or how late you have waited, it is never too late to repent of your sins, seek Jesus and His forgiveness, and by faith, have Him forgive your sins and provide Paradise for you.

       ●  When you think about telling Jesus what to do, stop and think about Who should be giving whom the orders.  Before you tell anyone else what they should be doing, make sure you are only saying what Jesus has already said, and speak in love.

       ●   As you think about Jesus, remember, He always has a place in heart for thieves, like you and me. 

Application for Today

        Today I will be careful to let Jesus lead me.  As He leads, I will speak.  He will take me to Paradise, and I will be with Him always.  Nothing can separate me from His love, not even death.  Are you going to Paradise with Jesus today?

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.