God Remembers Us Pt. 1
“God is not a human that he should lie, nor a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
Numbers 23:19 (TNIV)
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget I will not forget you.”
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23: 32-43
HOW WE ARE LIKE THE THIEF ON THE CROSS:
1)WE DESERVE DEATH TOO.
“We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23:41
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.”
2) JESUS HAD TO DIE IN OUR PLACE.
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’” Luke 23:39
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
3) JESUS REMEMBERS US.
“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’.” Luke 23:42
“Jesus’ words of reassurance gave [the thief] more than he had asked for. Not only would he have a place in the kingdom, whenever that would be established, but that very day he would enter Paradise.”
– Leon Morris
4) WE TOO WILL GO TO PARADISE.
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
2 Corinthians 12:3-4
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Entrance into paradise is available not only to the thief but to all who put their trust in Christ. Origen comments that Christ “gave to all those who believe and confess access to the entrance that Adam had previously closed by sinning.
Who else could remove the flaming turning sword which was placed to guard the tree of life and the gates of paradise?” To enter paradise is to return, in Prudentius‘ poignant phrase, to ‘our native country’.
– Christopher Hall