You will be with me in paradise
Augustine called him, “Latro laudabilis et mirabilis,” that is to say, a thief to be praised and wondered at. He is among the most unknown and enigmatic characters in the Bible. He appears, unnamed, in one narrative alone, and everything we know about him fits into a few brief verses. He was a convicted and confessed criminal being executed along with another of his kind and, providentially, Jesus of Nazareth. In the six hours that the three of them hung on their respective crosses, two spiritual transactions were made. One resulting in despair and death and the other in hope and eternal life.
As we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we will examine the encounter between Jesus and these two criminals, and we’ll hear the gospel message of hope proclaimed unencumbered by anything but grace on God’s part and faith on ours. In the end, we’ll see that the whole thing is something to be praised and wondered at.
Message: You will be with me in paradise
Text: Luke 23:39-43
Harvest Bible Chapel
April 17, 2022
Heaven and Hell are not places far away.
He detested Jesus (Matthew 27:44; Luke 23:39)
…as you do (James 4:4; Romans 3:22b-23)
It is the glory of God not honoured; the holiness of God not reverenced; the greatness of God not admired; the power of God not praised; the truth of God not sought; the wisdom of God not esteemed; the beauty of God not treasured; the goodness of God not savored; the faithfulness of God not trusted; the promises of God not believed; the commandments of God not obeyed; the justice of God not respected; the wrath of God not feared; the grace of God not cherished; the presence of God not prized; the person of God not loved.
He appealed to Jesus (Luke 23:40-42)
…as you must (Romans 10:9; Acts 4:12)
He was saved by Jesus (Luke 23:43)
…as you may be (Romans 5:10; 1 Peter 1:3b-5)
If Jesus could save this unnamed criminal—and he did—he can save anyone; he can even save you.