This is the second of a series of short meditations to help us prepare for Easter. You can find the first one here. The second word that Jesus uttered was a word of reassurance. Look at Luke 23:43
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? 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, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus spoke a word of reassurance when he said, ‘’I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise’. The criminal’s words are both a plea but also a profession of faith. He believed that Jesus was a heavenly king who could grant him access to the eternal Kingdom of God. And so he prayed. To Jesus. And Jesus personally reassured him that moments later he would be ushered into the eternal paradise presence of His Father. This wicked criminal would, moments’ later, enjoy an intimacy with God that surpassed that known by Adam and Eve. And so, in these words, we see Jesus’ determination to comfort a troubled sinner who faced the impending experience of eternity with fear and trembling. They remind us that Jesus’ death is supposed to reassure us that all will be well with us in the next life no matter what we’ve done in this one.
Therefore, will you let Jesus’ words personally reassure you?