The Seven Last Sayings of the Cross
Last week, we started on a journey together studying, “The Seven Last Sayings of Jesus on the Cross.” It was an exciting beginning as we looked intently at Luke 23:34 when Jesus spoke these powerful words; “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. The theme of study was that of forgiveness.
This morning as we move to Luke 23:42-43, we will again hear powerful words. The Bible reads, 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
What is the heart of these verses? Is it just in the concepts, kingdom or paradise? Must we just concentrate on those realities alone or is there more to be considered? As I studied this text, looking at the author, Luke and his purpose for writing, I believe the key to the interpretation of these verses is located in the words of the thief, ‘remember me’ and Jesus’ response to him as he said, ‘today’ with there being fulfilled with the secondary themes of the kingdom and paradise.
So, let us begin this study on these wonderful words and discern the lessons that God has for us here today.
- The words, remember me, represent not a desperate death bed confession, but a cry to not to be forgotten.
42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
- The word, today, represents assurances that only Jesus could bestow.
43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- The words, remember me and today, even though they represent a cry not to be forgotten and words of assurance only granted by Jesus, they stand for the gospel of inclusion for every man.
42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- As God remembers everyone who comes to him, so we too must not allow anyone to be forgotten either. Everyone is important and vital to God.
- Everyone needs assurances in life; we must remember that it all comes from God, our father, through Jesus Christ, not on a creed, saying or family ideology.
- Let us never forget that we have a gospel of inclusion with the great tenants of “whosoever will.”