This is Mark Seydel and today I would like to talk about that dude on the cross.
I’m using the word “dude” here as we are unaware of what the crime(s) was of the man who spoke to Jesus while hanging on the cross. “The thief on the cross.” We’ve heard it so many times that people simply believe it.
The generally accepted version of the story is that the man on the cross asked Jesus to remember him when he went to Heaven and that Jesus told the man he would be with Jesus that day, in Heaven.
This is not true, and I will explain why it is so important to get it right.
This is the scripture using the King James Version:
“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” - Luke 23:42-43
The word for “kingdom”, in the Greek, is basileia which is generally accepted as kingdom, but, also as kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule. You can see here the man on the cross was speaking of the kingdom of Jesus.
When Jesus replies to the man he uses the word “paradise”. The Greek word here is paradeisos – which means a garden, a park, a paradise. Jesus did not promise the man he would be with Jesus, that day, in Heaven. Jesus, himself, was not in Heaven that day as Jesus went into Hades for three days. Jesus did not ascend into Heaven until after Pentecost.
What was Jesus saying to this man?
I find it important to be careful when reading and interpreting scripture as we can miss the entire meaning. Most people feel the story of the man speaking to Jesus is a touching story about how the man’s faith that Jesus was the Son of God was all that was needed for salvation. That is not stated here at all.
So what do many people get wrong in this very small bit of scripture? The man was not identified as a thief, the man was not promised salvation nor did the man join Jesus in heaven that day. That’s an awful lot of wrong in a very small bit of scripture.
If we are not careful we might even start to believe that Jesus said, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.
O.K. Back to the man on the cross: My question still stands. What was Jesus saying to this man? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
Thank you for listening. As always, abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto God.
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