The Seven Last Words of Jesus #2

“Today, you will be with me!”

What a statement for Jesus to make! He was talking to a thief. Someone who was condemned for his actions and already experiencing the pain and the physical breakdown would usher in imminent death. Why did Jesus say what He said? What had the man done to merit such reward from God the Son? (Luke 23:43)

As Jesus hung on the cross, he was mocked and ridiculed by all, even a fellow-felon. But this man spoke up. Recognizing God in the flesh, he rebuked the other criminal. Defending Jesus, he said,

“Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation [as He?!] We are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our crimes; but this man has done nothing wrong…. Jesus, remember me in paradise.” (Luke 23:32-43)

After this confession of faith, the relationship between Jesus and that criminal on the cross was restored. And Jesus demonstrated the compassion of God! Throughout His days among us, moved by compassion, Jesus’ words connected with the hearts of individuals and multitudes. They needed “good news.” Identifying with his heart of love, He is a source of hope. He promises,

“Everyone… who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven”! (Luke 12:8, Romans 10:8-13).

Because of this plan of God, Jesus made this declaration without hesitation, even within hours of his death. Even with no time to make restitution, anyone can have a place in eternity: good news! Jesus shouldered this man’s damnation; but

His eternal judgment determined him to be a man of faith. At that moment, on the cross, they connected in truth (John 6:37)

So it is for everyone who trusts Jesus’ Words. We celebrate this “good news” when we commemorate Jesus’ death. Jesus died, and pardon’s my condemnation when I trust Him and accept that He is willing to do so. Believing Him, I will also “be with Him in paradise.”

Luke 23:43, John 6:37, Luke 12:8, Romans 10:8-13, Luke 23:32-43