Words from the Heart for Monday March 29th, 2021
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:43 (NIV)
On September 29, 2009, Newfoundland and Labrador held municipal elections. The town of Paradise had two people running for mayor – incumbent Ralph Wiseman and 19-year-old Kurtis Coombs. On September 30, it was announced that Coombs had won the election, making him the youngest mayor in Canada. He had beat Wiseman by three votes. Things remained in limbo until a draw was held, as legislated under provincial law, and on October 13 the incumbent’s name was drawn and Wiseman remained as the town’s mayor.
Back in the day of the Persian Empire, King Darius built a beautiful enclosed garden outside of his palace in Persepolis. It was designed to be a place of spiritual and leisurely relaxation. When the Greeks invaded and defeated the Persians, they discovered this beautiful place and took on the Persian word making it their own. We still use a variant of that word today – paradise. Jesus understood all this, and makes a promise to the believing thief on the cross next to him. It is recorded in Luke 23:43: “Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” The Biblical narrative begins in a garden. Sin forced the eviction of Adam and Eve, and locked the gate to the garden. The book of Revelation ends with the garden restored – paradise found. For all who trust Jesus as Saviour, who reach out in faith like the thief on the cross, paradise is promised. The Lord has gone to prepare a place for all who know Him and love Him. The moment we put our faith in Jesus, we receive the gift of eternal life – and the assurance that we will be with Him forever. That is paradise.
These have been words from the heart.