"Promise of Paradise"
April 3, 2006Email to a FriendPrint
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:42-43
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, March 11, 1973.
On Christmas Eve last year I visited an army stockade in Southeast Asia and talked with prisoners who were there because of major crimes like murder, rape, and assault with intent to kill.
Among them there was not one whom you could describe as the criminal “type.” Each was different, and each for real. I could talk to them about that one man who was born for real, lived a real life just like ours, died for real, and rose from the dead as the real man He is.
Is Jesus for them, as we like to think He is for us? If He is not for them, He is not for us. If He is for us, He is for them, too. He is for everyone, and that’s for real.
Jesus Christ came for real people, not for imaginary stereotypes. We write off whole classes of people; He writes off no one because he is rich or poor, because he is black or white, because had a jail record, because he is old or young.
When Jesus was executed, two criminals were crucified alongside Him. The two criminals deserved to die. One of them recognized that Jesus had the power to save him and asked simply, “Jesus, remember me.” That man got more than he dreamed of: the promise of paradise. God promises more than anybody could ever ask or think. He gives more than we desire or deserve. We ask for a creek, and He gives us an ocean.
Jesus, remember me. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.