He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them.
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last.
When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.”
All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts.
All his acquaintances and the women who followed with him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.
There’s an expression used often in the bible: In Christ. In fact, it’s used several hundred times. The same word is found as Jesus hung on the cross as one of the thieves asks, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
You can find this same word in verses like, “In him was life, and life was the light of men.” Or, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ.” It’s also found in the New Creation promise, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”
“In” is a simple word, yet rich in definition. The original Greek word ‘denotes’ (makes known) a ‘position’ (in place, time or state), along with its ‘instrumentality’ (means of getting there).
To me, it means if you’re a part of Christ, you’re part of something new – a new place, a new time, and a new state. In other words, a new creation. Jesus is the way to get there. The question is, when did this begin?
About halfway through the crucifixion, one of the two criminals crucified with Jesus asks, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Jesus answers him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
At that very moment, Jesus speaks of a place, a time and a state. A place: Paradise. A time: Today. A state: With Him.
This promise alone suggests the new creation began the day Jesus died. But, there’s a less subjective way to explore this mystery, using the book of Revelation in parallel.
Join me as we align the death, burial and resurrection of Christ with four consecutive passages in Revelations, beginning with the famous millennial resurrection scene of Revelation 20. I think and hope you’ll be amazed.
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