November 20

Luke 23:39-43

“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’” He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.‘“ vss. 42-43

It’s possible to get completely sidetracked by this little exchange between two dying men in Luke’s gospel. Because we wonder about the nature of life beyond death we look here for clues that can help us construct some sort of timetable for what happens once we draw our last breath. We do that a lot with bible verses that make reference to resurrection. We want there to be some sort of sequence, a pattern that we can draw on as we speak of those who die in Christ. And some folks have done just that! They tell us in great detail what’s going to happen and often it includes things like resurrection, rapture, Armageddon, Judgment Day, purgatory, or pearly gates. Now having such descriptions can be helpful to some, but in reality they are pure speculation, the invention of well-intentioned imaginations. It’s best for us to simply take the words of scripture in their context and accept the message each text conveys. What we have here is a comforting promise made by Jesus to a dying man that also offers an assurance of complete forgiveness for the deeds of a misdirected life. It’s a message that every human yearns to hear, one that we can hold close in our hearts. With these words Jesus says to each of us, “Yes, my sinner friend, there is hope and forgiveness even for you.”

Thought for the Day: What feelings does this promise evoke in me?

One thought on “November 20

  1. Still a mystery what today means as Jesus died that day and he rose 3 days later. Was his spirit in heaven with criminal. We like to think our love ones are in heaven and we surely want to be there too but are we. ?Maybe we are resting in our grave for Jesus to come. Great mystery for us but faith that all will be well as we have Jesus.


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