Emmanuel on the Cross :: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise


Jesus’ second saying from the Cross was “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” While this is a testament to the assurance of being in the presence of Christ, when we believe, as did the penitent malefactor, who recognized Jesus, not just as a man on the Cross, but as the Lord and King who shall return to reign, it is important to not overlook two key words in this saying. The words are “with me”. The penitent thief was given one of the greatest blessings that man can ever experience, which was to be with Christ Jesus.

Points to ponder:
Jesus’ name was prophesied to be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us (Matthew 1:23) and here we see that not only was God (Jesus) with man, but now because of Jesus’ redemptive act of Salvation being fulfilled on the Cross, man could be with God. In other words, Emmanuel was on the Cross and man was given the assurance of being with him – with God. If you believe in Jesus and you accept him as Lord and King, you can hear Jesus saying “Verily I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Do you hear his voice?

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 [INNOCENCE].
42
And he said unto Jesus, Lord [DIVINITY]remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom [KINGSHIP].

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

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.

 

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 2nd saying from the Cross


This is the 2nd post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Two: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
The Cross verbs today is “say” and “be with”.

He “said” words of assurance to a sinner who recognized him as Lord and King, so that we can say “true words of assurance” pointing others to where Jesus is, which is paradise.
He assured the sinner who recognized him as Lord and King of “being with” him in his presence, so that we as sinner who recognize Jesus as Lord and King, can also be assured access into God’s presence, so that we can “be with” him, as well.

Points to ponder:
Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68) and he has commanded us to go and teach (say to) all nations, of his blessed assurance. Are you with him, and are his words of eternal life, in you (John 15:7)? Are you abiding in him for without him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
The Cross verbs “said” and “be with” calls us to action – to say of his sacrifice (Saviorship) and Sovereignty, so that all who believe in him, as Savior and Lord, can be with him, as he most assuredly promised.

Prayer:Let your words remain in me, I pray; and these words of eternal life, let me say – say to all who are not with you, so that they may be with you!

Luke 23:43 (KJV)
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The Tree of Life i.e., The Cross of Christ


Genesis 2:9 states  … “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow evert tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). The Bible says that Jesus was hung on a tree (referring to the cross) (Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; Acts 13:29; 1 Peter 2:24) as one who was cursed (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:22-23).

The Cross (Tree) of Christ (Life) was positioned in between (the midst of) two other crosses, between the crosses of knowledge of good and evil; one which hung the repentant (good) sinner and the other which hung the rebellious (evil) sinner.

Points to ponder:
Jesus is the tree of life and he hung on a tree to give us life – eternal life, if only we believe in him. Our belief in him imputes on us his righteousness, as the sinful robes we wear are washed by his blood, and he clothes us with righteousness when we believe. Only to those who believe is given the privilege to take and eat from the tree of life, implying that only those who believe in Jesus can have eternal life (Revelation 22:14). Jesus’ Cross beckons us as we are juxtaposed between our good side and our evil side; our good side which chooses to yield to his Lordship, and to repent and believe in him, and our evil side which rebels against submitting to his Lordship.

I pray that we are all like the repentant sinner who requested of Jesus “Lord, remember me, when you come into your kingdom” and was assured by Jesus, “Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise (garden) wherein is THE Tree of Life – Jesus Christ.”

Which side of the tree of life are you on? Which side of the Cross of Christ are you on?

Today, You (with) Me :: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise


Jesus’ second saying from the Cross is recorded in the gospel according to apostle Luke in chapter 23 verse 43. It reads “Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” This was said to a penitent sinner who was condemned by man to die alongside Jesus on his cross, when the malefactor recognized Jesus as Lord and King and asked to be remembered (Luke 23:42).

While on one hand, these words are words of assurance that grant access to the very throne of God, for anyone who repents and recognizes the Lordship and Kingship of Jesus, these words also have much truth hidden in it which close scrutiny reveals with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus was born, he was to be called “Emmanuel” which being interpreted is God with us (men/women) (Matthew 1:23). Now in his second saying from the Cross, Jesus was living up to his name, ironically by his death, whereby he made it possible for man to be with God.

In Jesus’ birth, it is God with man.
In Jesus’ death, it is man with God (in paradise).

Points to ponder:
Jesus said, “Verily, I say unto you. Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” to a repentant sinner. Now, can he say that of you? In other words, have you believed in him, repented and accepted him to your Lord and King? “Today, You (with) Me” says God. What is your response?

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.

Let’s talk business :: From the Cross – 2nd Saying


When Jesus was twelve years old, he questioned, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) and on his crucifixion, he spoke seven sayings that are often expanded upon on Good Friday services, all over the world. This series, ‘Let’s talk business’ is a look at the seven sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, from a business perspective. Today we shall look at the second saying from the Cross, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” as recorded in Luke 23:43.

According to BusinessDictionary.com, the term “Promissory Note” is a written, signed, unconditional, and unsecured promise by one party (the maker or promisor) to another (the payee or promisee) that commits the maker to pay a specified sum on demand, or on a fixed or a determinable date. Promissory notes such as bank and currency notes are negotiable instruments.

When Jesus said to the repentant malefactor who hung alongside Jesus, that ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’, he was making a promissory note. The malefactor name was written in the Lamb’s book of life and signed by Jesus’ blood (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 20:11-15). It was unconditional as the malefactor did not have to do anything to receive what was promised to him and it was unsecured in the sense that the malefactor had nothing to be used as collateral to receive the promise that Jesus made. The determinable date was that very day (Today) and it committed Jesus, the promisor, to pay with his very life, so that this malefactor could enjoy the benefits of being in the presence of God (with Jesus), when he recognized Jesus Christ and believed in him as Lord and King (for the malefactor said “Lord, remember me when thou comest  into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42).

Points to ponder:
In business terms, Jesus’ saying “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” is a promissory note of being with him in paradise and it is for all mankind who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and King. Have you received this promissory note from God? If you have not, don’t tarry, for the Bible says, that Today (now) is your determinable day; your day of Salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2) and you can come and negotiate (reason) together with God, for though our sins are like scarlet, He shall wash them white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).

Revelation 20:11-15 (KJV)
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool

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.

Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise


Jesus’ second saying from the Cross, to the penitent sinner was “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Deeper inspection of this saying reveals certain hidden treasures in this saying.

This was a true statement of assurance to a dying man from a dying Man. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, He went about in his  ministry by preaching “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [near].” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17) But now on the Cross, as one of the malefactors, who was crucified along side Christ Jesus, recognized the Innocence (Lamb), divinity (Lord), and Kingship (Lion) of Jesus Christ, Jesus assured him that on that very day (Today), he would be with Jesus Christ in paradise. The malefactor recognized Jesus to be the King that shall come and requested that he be remembered upon the return of The King. To this, Jesus replied by saying “Today, you shall be with me in paradise”. In other words, Jesus was asserting that the Kingdom of heaven was no longer at hand, but had come into fruition, with the completion of his work of Salvation, on the Cross. From that day onwards, man who was banished from having a direct communion with God in the paradisiacal garden (of Eden), could now have access to the throne of God and Christ Jesus. “Today” was not only the day of salvation for the repenting malefactor on the cross, but it was the appointed (accepted) time of the Lord for the salvation of all who believe in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 6:2) as the slain and worthy Lamb of God (Revelation 5) and as the Lord and King (just as the malefactor did) .

Points to ponder:
If Christ was to return today as the King in His kingdom, would he remember you and me? Can He tell of you and me, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise”?
Have you recognized Jesus Christ as THE Lamb, THE Lord and THE Lion (King)? If so, you can be assured of being part of His kingdom, when He returns. He has assured us of this by His true saying – “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

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 [INNOCENCE].
42
And he said unto Jesus, Lord [DIVINITY]remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom [KINGSHIP].

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Surety


The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine surety. God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ [Jesus] died for us (Romans 5:8-9). John 19:31-37 is not only a fulfillment of the prophecy of God’s salvation but it also establishes the fact that Jesus died for us on the Cross. In other words, the Cross is the commendation of God’s love toward us.

We can be sure of this, that God’s love so binding that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from it. Neither death nor, life (Physical aspects), nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers (Spiritual aspects), nor things present, nor things to come (Temporal aspects), nor height, nor depth (Spatial aspects), nor any other creation (all other aspects of creation) can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).

Jesus told the penitent malefactor from his own Cross, “Verily, verify, I say unto you. Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).  In other words, Jesus was affirming the truth and its surety, that the penitent sinner, who recognized Jesus as Lord (Luke 23:42), which we get from the way he changes his address of Jesus, was guaranteed his salvation, from the Cross on which Jesus died.

Let us cross examine ourselves and make sure that we have recognized Jesus as Lord as well. For all who are in Christ Jesus, walking after the Spirit of God (and not after our own flesh), can be sure of His Salvation (Romans 8:1). There is only love (inseparable God’s love) commended from the Cross. There is no condemnation that comes from it (Romans 8:1).

Romans 5:8-9 (KJV)
8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
38
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Verily, I Say Unto Thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise


Even cursorily evaluating this statement the second saying of Christ Jesus as He hung on the Cross, living up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins, we see PROFOUND TRUTHS hidden in it. Delving deeper accentuates these subheadings so much further that it is simply baffling to the human mind, the depth of meaning that each word (carefully chosen) in this SECOND SAYING of Christ Jesus – Verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43). Deeper analysis uncovers the hidden treasures in this expression of Christ Jesus.

VERILY (the SAYING was a PROMISE)

We see the usage of the word ‘Verily’, to mean PROMISORILY, MOST ASSUREDLY, TRULY and in simple terms to mean that IT CANT BE OTHERWISE! The term ‘Verily’ is used ONLY in the second saying on the cross, but it mentioned many times in the Gospels to express ABSOLUTE TRUTHS. Matthew records it 24 Times, Mark 12 Times, Luke 6 Times and John 24 Times.  By using the term ‘Verily’, Jesus was CLARIFYING ALL DOUBTS and questions in the mind of the criminal as well as all those who heard him, that what he had once said before was INDEED true and that is JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE and no Man cometh unto the Father but by him. There is NO OTHER WAY or MEANS to SALVATION and this was a PROMISE – Verily / Truly / It cant be Otherwise

I SAY UNTO YOU (the ADDRESS was PERSONAL)
Replace the word ‘YOU’ with your Name and you will still hear Jesus unto you the same He said to the penitent malefactor on the Cross. Jesus is a Personal God and He is interested in your personal life and mine and He is making this a personal statement to and for you.          

TODAY (the element of TIME was the PRESENT)

Jesus said ‘Today’ meaning that the DAY of SALVATION for the criminal was not any other time, but THE PRESENT. You don’t have to WAIT for another time to be believe in the Name of Jesus and be saved. I plead,  DON’T PROCRASTINATE or TARRY. The Scripture records that Now (the PRESENT) is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2). Now is the appointed time for us, the creation to meet the Creator God, Jesus as a Savior.

SHALT THOU BE WITH ME (Man’s PRESENCE with GOD)
“Shalt thou be with me”, indicates the PRESENCE of God WITH Man. It is the PRESENCE, NOT PROXIMITY. God is NOT Only NEAR you in your situations of life, God is WITH you in your situation. In the fiery trials that the three Hebrew boys, Hanniah, Mishael and Azariah faced, Jesus Christ, the Son of God was in the fire with them as expressed by a pagan king.  God became Immanuel, meaning God is present with us, in the person of Jesus, so that Man could be  present with God and Jesus affirms this.

IN PARADISE (the DESTINATION is PARADISE)
Ever wonder why Jesus did not use the word ‘Heaven’ but instead said paradise. The history of the word paradise is an extreme example of amelioration, the process by which a word comes to refer to something better than what it used to refer to. The old Iranian language Avestan had a noun pairidaēza-, meaning “a wall enclosing a garden or orchard,” which is composed of pairi-, “around,” and daēza- “wall.” The adverb and preposition pairi is related to the equivalent Greek form peri, as in perimeter. Daēza- comes from the Indo-European root *dheigh-, “to mold, form, shape.” This Greek word paradeisos was used in the Septuagint translation of Genesis to refer to the Garden of Eden, whence Old English eventually borrowed it around 1200.

Honestly, I don’t know if Paradise is a geographical location synonymous with ‘Heaven’ when God’s throne is, or if it is metaphorical as in the saying that God lives in the praises of men and /or if it is physical with a longitudinal and/or latitudinal construct. I dont know. But what surfaces is that if the root of the word paradise was pairidaēza meaning “a wall enclosing a garden” it reminds me of the garden of Eden where man communed with God was shut from man by a wall of a flaming sword and angel so that man could not access the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). Man could not have access to the garden where God came down in the cool of the evening to be with his creation. Now with the final and finishing act of God’s redemptive work, demonstrated by Jesus being crucified in the stead of man, we see that the perimeter wall that precluded man from reaching God (and access to THE TREE OF LIFE i.e., Jesus) in the garden is now removed and the garden (paradise) is accessible to man as expressed by Jesus when he said, Verily, I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise. The garden that was shut is now open. Furthermore, irrespective of where paradise is physically, I believe that when Jesus is WITH me and you, anyplace is Paradise.

VERILY indicates that this saying was a PROMISE
I SAY UNTO YOU
– indicates that the address was PERSONAL
TODAY
indicates that the element of time was the PRESENT
SHALT THOU BE WITH ME
indicates Man’s PRESENCE with GOD
IN PARADISE
indicates the destination is PARADISE

Verily, I Say Unto Thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise


Even CURSORILY EVALUATING this statement, we see PROFOUND TRUTHS hidden in it.  Delving deeper accentuates these subheadings so much further that it is simply baffling to the human mind, the depth of meaning conveyed by each word (carefully chosen) by Jesus as he spoke His SECOND SAYING from the Cross,

VERILY – indicating that this saying was a PROMISE
I SAY UNTO YOU
– indicating that the address was PERSONAL
TODAY
– indicating the element of time was the PRESENT
SHALT THOU BE WITH ME
– indicating Man’s PRESENCE with God
IN PARADISE – indicating our PLACE of rest

Point(s) to Ponder:
Can Jesus say this to us, Today?