Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paradise for Those Who Don't Deserve It

Exchange Amongst the Crucified 

 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
 43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” 
(Luke 23 NIV)

This is an amazing promise Jesus makes to this criminal.  This guy is going to get something incredibly wonderful that he doesn’t deserve.

Look who’s getting it: a criminal!
And he know he doesn't deserve it, for he says, We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.”

Look what he’s getting: paradise!
What should he get?  Hell.  Instead, he gets paradise; heaven; living with Jesus. 

Look when he’s getting it: today!
There’s no probation time.  There’s no purgatory.  Today; with Jesus; in paradise.

We, like the criminal on the cross, deserve hell.  But Jesus gave his life to give us heaven.

That’s the heart of the Savior.  That’s why he went to the cross, to give us what we don’t deserve--paradise; heaven; forgiveness; eternal life.

Jesus willingly took what he didn’t deserve so that he could give us what we don’t deserve.  And he did it because he loves you, because he loves me.

"Christ loved us and gave himself up for us."  (Eph 5:2 NIV)

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