I wrote a series of devotion for my church on the Seven Last Words of Jesus for this Lent season and sharing them here. I am happy to discuss the answers to the questions in the comments below. So feel free to engage me in a dialogue. =)
Second of Seven Last Words of Jesus
Luke 23:43 (NASB): “And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.””
Theme: SALVATION & EVANGELISM
Read: Luke 23:35-43.
- Who is this “you” who will be with Jesus in Paradise? Is he deserving of this privilege?
- Why did Jesus offer him a place in Paradise, i.e. salvation?
JESUS’ TEACHING AND APPLICATION
Read John 6:35-40.
It is ironical that a dying Man hanging on the cross offered the other salvation. What makes this even more interesting is that the dying man had the perception that the dying Man next to him was no ordinary man. In the paradox of this most unexpected circumstance, one who was condemned for death found salvation.
Jesus declared that He is the Bread of Life, that even at the moment before his death He was able to offer salvation despite the agony of hanging on the cross with death so close. The pain of the nail did not distract Him, the effects of blood loss did not blind Him, and his heavy breathing did not deafen His ear to this man. Definitely not the best time to evangelize when He was in pain and agony – do bear in mind that Jesus is fully human. Jesus kept to His promise that whoever comes to Him, He will not reject. He extended Himself beyond His own circumstance to this man.
- How do you think Jesus was able to extend Himself beyond His personal situation to this man?
- Jesus set the example for us in reaching out. How can we learn from His example in fulfilling the Great Commission?
REFLECTION & MEDITATION
Take some quiet moments with the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what are some of the fears you have that hinders you from extending beyond your circumstances. Invite Jesus to help you overcome these fears so that you can be effective in doing His work, even in the most uncomfortable and trying circumstances.
SONG OF MEDITATION
Knocking on the Door of Heaven https://youtu.be/vepVHDdMMLk
We will give ourselves no rest
‘Till Your Kingdom comes on earth
We’ve positioned watchmen on the walls
Now our prayers will flow like tears
For You’ve shared Your heart with us
God of Heaven, on our knees we fall
Come down in power, reveal Your heart again
Come hear our cries, the tears that plead for rain
We’re knocking, knocking on the door of heaven
We’re crying, crying for this generation
We’re praying for Your Name to be known in all of the earth
We’re watching, watching on the walls to see You
We’re looking, looking for a time of breakthrough
We’re praying for Your Word to bear fruit in all of the earth
All of the earth