The Assuring Christ :: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise


Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the second saying, when Jesus, tells the malefactor (criminal) who had acknowledged and addressed Jesus as Lord and King (Luke 23:42), that he will be with Jesus in paradise that day, we see Jesus Christ – the Assurer of his presence in paradise.

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the assuring Christ centuries earlier, when he recorded that Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). On the Cross, we see condemned like the other malefactors (Luke 23:39-40), this prophetic saying comes true.

Points to ponder:
Amidst this condemnation that Christ suffered, as a criminal, though he had committed no crime, Jesus speaks words of eternal life (John 6:68), words of assurance – a blessed assurance, that the one who is condemned in the eyes of man is not condemned in the eyes of God, because he who had recognized Jesus a good man, having done nothing wrong (Luke 23:41), realized and recognized that Jesus the good man was indeed God-man and that Jesus was Lord and King, who will come again in his kingdom (Luke 23:42). The criminal’s request was to be remembered for he said “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”, but Christ Jesus responded in a manner of speaking, that there would be no need for remembrance, because that criminal was going to be with Christ that very day.

Notice how, Jesus did not condemn or remind him of the criminal’s sinful past, which by earthly standards deserved excruciating death. Instead, Jesus focused on the criminal’s saintly future – a future with Christ himself. This gives hope – hope to the vilest of sinners (of whom I am chief) and does not preclude anyone out of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The criminal died that day, yet he lived for whoever believes in Jesus, though he shall die, yet shall he live (John 11:25-26).

Also note, how the criminal’s request talks about “Jesus’ kingdom” not the kingdom of man. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth. Yet many a times, we in our human fallibilities and carnal desires seek to establish our own kingdoms. Like the criminal, we must ask for God’s kingdom to come and not our own. His will, not our will be done.

And to all, who like the criminal, recognize Jesus, not solely as a good man, but as God-man, the only man in whom the fullness of God dwells (Colossians 1:19), as the Lord and as a King whose kingdom will come, Jesus is the assuring Christ with whom we shall all be, in paradise.

Is Jesus The Assuring Christ to you? In other words, have you believed in him and accepted him as Lord and King of your life?

Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
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.

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus in the NT :: 1st John


The book of 1st John gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

Moving from 2nd Peter where we encountered false teachers who scoffed and denied the imminent return of the eminent King, Jesus Christ, we now face another strange heresy in the book of 1st John, where some started to say that Jesus was not a real man and that He was not in the flesh, but merely in the Spirit when he was on earth. This book establishes the fact that in the physical senses, the apostles and others were eye witnesses of Jesus Christ in the flesh; that they heard him, saw him, looked upon Him and touched his hands. Jesus Christ was fully God no doubt but fully man as well.

Genesis 9:6 accounts for the inexplicable love of God – God made man in God’s own image.
Philippians 2:7 accounts for the insurmountable love of God – God made God in the image (likeness) of man.

Nara-hari in Sanskrit means Man-God. Jesus Christ is Nara-hari and there is no other.

In fact, those who deny that this God-man, Jesus is the Christ, is said to be have the spirit of the anti-Christ is what 1 John establishes. (1 John 4:3)

But why was this book written? This book was written so that we may know Jesus and in knowing Him we may have life, for Jesus is LIGHT, LOVE and LIFE (1 John 5:13)

1 John 1:5 states that God is LIGHT and in him there is no darkness. Jesus said, I am the Light of the World (John 8:12). There is no darkness in Christ (1 John 1:5) for in him was found no guile. Jesus dispels darkness as the morning rays of the sun dispels the darkness in the room at dawn.

1 John 4:7-8 states that God is LOVE and since Christ is God, Christ Jesus Is Love. We love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

1 John 5:13 states that in knowing the Son of God, is eternal LIFE. In John 11:25, Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: God has given us eternal life and this life is in Jesus (1 John 5:11). He who has the Son (Jesus) has life and he who does not have the Son (Jesus) does not have life (1 John 5:12).

In 1st John, Jesus Christ is LIGHT that dispels the darkness from our lives, the LOVE of GOD expressed and personified, and LIFE ETERNAL.

Points to ponder:
Is your life in darkness? Do you feel unloved? Are you more dead than alive? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you need Jesus. Ask Jesus to be your Light, your Love and to be your Life and He will not disappoint you.

Nara-hari


We have heard and we know that God made man in the image of God. But, did you know that God made God in the image of man?

Nara-hari means ‘man-God‘ in Sanskrit. I was introduced to this title for Jesus Christ by the Aradhna music group that have a wonderful ministry of reaching many with the love of Jesus, through their unique songs and singing style. In fact, the title Nara-hari (‘man-God’) can be conferred on no one else, except Jesus Christ.

Genesis 9:6 accounts for the inexplicable love of God – God made man in God’s own image.
Philippians 2:7 accounts for the insurmountable love of God – God made God in the image (likeness) of man.

Think about this – The Son of God (Jesus) became the Son of Man so that the sons/daughters of men can become the sons/daughter of God.

O, behold, what manner of LOVE, God, the Father has bestowed upon us, that he should GIVE his only begotten son, the ONLY NARA-HARI, so that we can be called the CHILDREN of God. (1 John 3:1)

Genesis 9:6 (KJV)
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Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)
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Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
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Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
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But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
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And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
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Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
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That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
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And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.