And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (NLT)
You know the thief hanging next to Jesus to me speaks more than just lay on the surface. It's true that as the three were suffering on their wooden devices of torcher that the one recognized who Jesus Christ was and was drawn to the Savior asking for the Lords consideration as He entered His kingdom! Jesus assured the man that this very day he would be with Jesus in paradise.
Wonderful message of forgiveness and redemption, but to me there is also a message for us that we can learn from and even realize today! Everyday! We can and should be in paradise now! “Today you will be with me in paradise!”
Just as literally as Jesus was telling the thief of his eternal destiny; Jesus was conveying our earthly reality and our eventual destination. Because we no longer are condemned by our sin. The punishment and burden of that sin is gone forever! We have been adopted into God's family and are blessed with an inheritance beyond human understanding.
Paradise is now for us because His Spirit lives in us NOW… we don't have to wait for out crossing of the river Jordan to realize His presence. Because He lives and lives in us we are no longer encumbered by this world, it sin, and it's suffering.
The message of the this conversation between Jesus and the thief holds true for us now; today. If we only accept the redemption Christ forged on that cross; we can and should be sharing the wonder of paradise TODAY!