Daily Devotion Saturday, July 6

Saturday, July 6, 2013 – Psalm 150; 1 Samuel 14:16-30; Acts 9:10-19a and Luke 23:32-43

Luke 23:32-43 – 32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Jesus crucified. Jesus got the sentence which we all deserve, death. Thanks be to God, that in believing in him we can know that one day, we will be with him.

I decided to delve into what Jesus meant by “today you will be with me in Paradise.” I’d always assumed this meant heaven, but in looking closer at things it may be an interim place and time between earth and heaven, heaven being the full establishment of God’s Kingdom once and for all time. Some scholars see Paradise as our returning to Eden with all its benefits; God being with us, all peaceful and good. I don’t know what to make of this exactly, but all this has made me take a second or third look at how I see death and resurrection. What could be meant is that the criminal would go where Jesus went for the three days between his death and resurrection. Then upon his resurrection and his ascension went to abide with Jesus in God’s kingdom, into heaven.

What I do know is this, Jesus was crucified for our sins and believing in him gives us the promise that we will be with him always.

Thanks be to the Christ for giving his life for the sins of the criminals at his side, for those who had him crucified, for us and all humanity. Not all will believe, yet he was crucified for all.

O Christ, you were crucified for my sins, may I seek to live gratefully this day and every day for this very gift. Amen.

Psalm 150 – 1   Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2   Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness! ….

Praise the Lord!

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