Thought of the Day March 23, 2021 "Today, you shall be with me in paradise."

By 10:57 AM

"Today, you shall be with me in paradise."

Jesus' second word from the cross was to one of the criminals crucified with him. The first fruit of Jesus’ prayer of forgiveness came forth in the words of this criminal crucified with Jesus. Recognizing and admitting his own sinfulness, he expressed a plea of repentance. He publicly testified to Jesus’ innocence and professed his faith in Jesus’ identity as Lord, without understanding the full meaning.

 

To the quivering thief Jesus gave a promise of hope. His sinful life will not end in devastation but in victory. The response of Jesus was immediate. “Amen, I say to you. Today you shall be with me in Paradise.” Recall the words of the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel. “Do I find pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord? Do I not rejoice when they turn from their evil way and live?” (Ez 18:23)

 

When we turn to the Lord asking for forgiveness with a sincere heart, will Jesus promise us less? He desires our eternal salvation with him. His reconciling grace is there for the asking and receiving.

 


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