Today shalt thou be with me in paradise

Jesus’ second saying from the Cross was “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” It was said to a criminal who hung next to him. This criminal recognized the innocence of Jesus for he said that “this man has not done anything amiss” and then quickly recognized that Jesus was not just the son of man, but the Son of God for he recognized him as Lord and King for he said “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” I have expanded on this saying a few times in the past. This was the criminal’s salvation experience. It also expresses that man is saved by faith (believing in the Lordship and Kingship of Christ) and not be works, for the criminal did not have anytime to go do any good works or even publicly profess his faith by baptism, yet Jesus assures him with words of blessed assurance that he shall be with him. What powerful words? “Be with Christ”.

Points to ponder:
In the book of Acts 4:12-13 we read that when the disciples (Peter and John) boldly proclaimed that there was no other name, except Jesus, by which man can be saved, the people took notice of this and marveled that such unlearned men spoke with such boldness and realized that these men had been with Christ. What a testament? These men had been with Christ. Can that be said of you and me?

Jesus said, “You shall be with me” to a criminal (wrongdoer) and those words are words that ring true even today to each one of us, who are sinners (wrongdoers), if we believe in his Lordship and Kingship. He will be with us when we believe in Him. And to all those who have believed, if Christ is with us, do we boldly proclaim his salvation to others, so that they take notice of us and marvel saying that “We have been with Jesus.” Think about it.

Luke 23:38-43 (KJV)
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Acts 4:12-13 (KJV)
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.