Updated: May 6
When we think of the most famous Bible verses, generally, the ones that come to mind are verses like John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5-6 (which is one of my favorites) Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:13 and so on.
But there is also a very popular Bible verse found in the 23rd chapter of Luke. Verse 43 reads “And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”(Luke 23:43)
I don’t know about you, but I could not imagine hearing those words coming from the mouth of the Lord Jesus! Yes, it is true that the Holy Spirit of God bears that truth in the believers’ heart, but actually hearing the audible voice of the incarnate Son of God saying such a marvelous truth is stunning to think about.
Most of us are familiar with this event that happened at Calvary. Our Lord was bearing the sins of all who would believe on Him by taking on the wrath of God the Father. Jesus displayed His love and forgiveness for sinners, even a great sinner such as the thief on the Cross.
Just before our Lord cried out with a loud voice saying “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mathew 27:46) He told this thief that “Today you will be with me in paradise”.
This passage is often looked at as just a death bed conversion. That it is never too late for a sinner to be made right with God. As long as you have breath in your lungs and a beating heart, repentance is still a possible reality for a dying man.
This late conversion is truly remarkable and an amazing act of mercy. This man was on the brink of the fires of hell engulfing him with no way of escape. Yet, the grace and mercy of God had other plans for this criminal.
I see something happening here other than just a late conversion with death closer than it had ever been for this man. This passage found in Luke 23:39-43 puts on full display the only way to be made right with God. And that is by faith and faith alone.
We will examine this portion of scripture and we will come to find out that all believers share this same conversion as the malefactor did. Yes, the gravity of this situation was far weightier than any of our conversions, being that this is the greatest conversion in all scripture (In my opinion).
But the means to which this man found forgiveness is the same means that all believers find forgiveness in salvation. That is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Jesus’ proclamation in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” is laid before us in this amazing moment in history.
Come join us this coming Friday, April 7, 2023 as we celebrate our Lord’s sacrificial death on our behalf. Please invite family and friends to attend this service. The gospel of Jesus Christ will be presented, which is the only hope for the unsaved world.
Service will begin at 6:00 pm
I Look forward to spending Good Friday in the fellowship of the body of Christ and the worship of His word being preached.
See ya then!
Ryan J Deacon
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.