“Today, in Paradise!”
Scripture reading for April 2nd: Luke 23
Key Scriptures: Luke 23:38-43 “There was also an inscription over Him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 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.”
In our calendar, today, this Friday, is “Good Friday.” We call it that because our “Good” Savior and King, Jesus Christ, willingly gave His life on the cross of Calvary to atone for the sins of all mankind. He was crucified between two known criminals. His “crime” was claiming to be God’s Son and a King with a kingdom. Pilate had placed on His cross, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals, along with the crowd and the soldiers, mocked Jesus for His claims. The other criminal had heard the same taunts but evidently had heard Jesus’ prayer for those who were crucifying Him: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He rebuked the first criminal and asked Jesus humbly for mercy, confessing that he believed Jesus was innocent and a King with a kingdom. Jesus’ response brought joy to the suffering sinner and brings joy to all in desperate need of God’s grace! “Today, with Me, in Paradise!” Make that your daily prayer, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
1st Timothy 1:15 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, my Savior and King, thank You for Your amazing gift of salvation for sinners like me. What “Good News” for the hopelessly lost that You hear the faintest of cry from the dying and condemned. May You empower me and others to proclaim this powerful truth! Today, with Jesus in Paradise!
Luke 23:50-53 “Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid Him in a tomb cut in stone where no one had yet been laid.”