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  • Grace B-P Contributor

Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

By Rev Tan Eng Boo

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43)

William Cowper wrote these words to his most familiar hymn in Christendom:

“The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away:

Wash all my sins away,

Wash all my sins away;

And there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away.”

Good Friday is a reminder of how God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ into this world to die for our sins (John 3:16). God is no respecter of persons. Even a thief can be saved. No one is beyond the reach of God. Here are some lessons we can learn from this account of the salvation of this thief:

1. Good works have no part in his salvation. The man is now dying. He had never done anything for Jesus. Titus 3:5 (KJV) says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he hath saved us.” It is only by having faith in Jesus Christ that we can be saved (Ephesians 2:7, 8).

2. Salvation is instantaneous.

Jesus said to this man, “Today” you will be in Paradise. The moment he died he went directly to heaven. Let us be reminded of the doctrine of Justification by faith. It teaches us that the moment we accept Jesus Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13). Come to Jesus today. “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts….” (Heb. 3:7, 8).

3. Heaven is the destination for Christians when they pass on.

The thief was saved and was given the promise by Jesus that he will be with Him in Paradise. Jesus said: “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2, 3). What a wonderful promise to all who believe in Jesus.

Good Friday reminds us of God’s love for sinners.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

May this always be my prayer of praise to Jesus:

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul

Thank you, Lord, for making me whole

Thank you, Lord, for giving to me

Thy great salvation so rich and free

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