Today in Paradise

Today, You Will Be With Me in Paradise // Bugün Benimle Birlikte Cennette Olacaksın

All people need support at some time or another.

  • When someone is ill, they need help.
  • When someone doesn’t know how to fix something, they need repairman …I usually need this
  • When I played football

(OK, some of my American friends immediately tried to picture me in an American football uniform with padding and a helmet, but I mean “soccer”),

I enjoyed the support that I would receive from the screaming FAN on the sidelines.

  • Or perhaps we need Tech (IT) support

(I would make a joke about Macbooks vs PCs but I don’t want any PC users in the audience to feel abused J )

PEOPLE NEED SUPPORT:

  • A word of encouragement
  • A Surprise gift, a card or flowers
  • A hug

Today, I continue the series on the seven words from the cross.

Last week we saw how Jesus asked Our Heavenly Father to forgive his abusers.

I mentioned a long list of abuses that Jesus endured as he hung…

These were the opposite of support:

  • Judas betrayed him
  • Other disciples abandoned him
  • Peter denied knowing him
  • The religious leaders who should have recognized him, instead they had him arrested and crucified
  • And even the other two criminals who were being crucified with Jesus cried out curses, abuses and insults at him:

Let’s read

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Matthew 27:38-44

38 İsa’yla birlikte, biri sağında öbürü solunda olmak üzere iki haydut da çarmıha gerildi. 39-40 Oradan geçenler başlarını sallayıp İsa’ya sövüyor, “Hani sen tapınağı yıkıp üç günde yeniden kuracaktın? Haydi, kurtar kendini! Tanrı’nın Oğlu’ysan çarmıhtan in!” diyorlardı.

41-42 Başkâhinler, din bilginleri ve ileri gelenler de aynı şekilde O’nunla alay ederek, “Başkalarını kurtardı, kendini kurtaramıyor” diyorlardı. “İsrail’in Kralı imiş! Şimdi çarmıhtan aşağı insin de O’na iman edelim. 43 Tanrı’ya güveniyordu; Tanrı O’nu seviyorsa, kurtarsın bakalım! Çünkü, ‘Ben Tanrı’nın Oğlu’yum’ demişti.” 44 İsa’yla birlikte çarmıha gerilen haydutlar da O’na aynı şekilde hakaret ettiler.

Matta 27:38-44

Matthew’s account shows a general picture, but not every detail.

He shows us that the criminals…the rebels…insulted Jesus.

Actually, they “heaped insults.”

Even though it was painful to speak from a cross, these men abused Jesus with their words.

Maybe it felt good to scream at Jesus, the innocent One.

Perhaps they were insulting –

-each other,

-the abusers and

-Jesus.

They most likely felt as though they had no hope.

They offered no support to Jesus who was dying with them.

And yet, Luke records something else that happened.

Let’s look at it now.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:35-43

35 Halk orada durmuş, olanları seyrediyordu. Yöneticiler İsa’yla alay ederek, “Başkalarını kurtardı; eğer Tanrı’nın Mesihi, Tanrı’nın seçtiği O ise, kendini de kurtarsın” diyorlardı.

36-37 Askerler de yaklaşıp İsa’yla eğlendiler. O’na ekşi şarap sunarak, “Sen Yahudiler’in Kralı’ysan, kurtar kendini!” dediler. 38 Başının üzerinde şu yafta vardı:

YAHUDİLER’İN KRALI BUDUR

39 Çarmıha asılan suçlulardan biri, “Sen Mesih değil misin? Haydi, kendini de bizi de kurtar!” diye küfretti.

40 Ne var ki, öbür suçlu onu azarladı. “Sende Tanrı korkusu da mı yok?” diye karşılık verdi. “Sen de aynı cezayı çekiyorsun. 41 Nitekim biz haklı olarak cezalandırılıyor, yaptıklarımızın karşılığını alıyoruz. Oysa bu adam hiçbir kötülük yapmadı.” 42 Sonra, “Ey İsa, kendi egemenliğine girdiğinde beni an” dedi.

43 İsa ona, “Sana doğrusunu söyleyeyim, sen bugün benimle birlikte cennette olacaksın” dedi.

Luka 23:35-43

Prayer

  1. The Position of the Criminals // Suçluların İçinde Bulunduğu Durum

Why would these criminals be abusing Jesus, also?

He was an easy target for hardened criminals.

But I wonder if there may be some more to this.

Before Jesus was arrested, there were three criminals (also called “thieves” or “rebels”) who were awaiting execution.

Of these three, one was named Barabbas.

According to the local custom, the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, would release one of the prisoners.

All three of them hoped that they would be the one released.

Perhaps Barabbas was the worst of the three, I’m not sure.

If he were, then he probably thought that there was no way that he would be released.

The other two might have thought that the decision would be between one of them.

So they probably were on their best behavior, hoping to be released.

But then….

…early in the morning on what we now call Good Friday, Jesus was taken to the jail.

They would have been familiar with Him:

Jesus was

  • Popular
  • Good
  • Not dangerous to the public

So, they probably lost all hope.

Or, they may have thought that with Jesus in jail, they would all be released. They may have thought of Jesus as a revolutionary like them, who would break them out of jail.

But, as they saw Jesus (beaten and humiliated, wearing a crown made out of thorny briars and dressed up in a purple robe) they would have been disappointed.

Whatever the case, these criminals were hopeless.

Then, what a surprise that Barabbas was released instead of Jesus?

So,

overwhelmed with anger and sadness, the two criminals left in jail went with Jesus to their crosses.

  1. The Position of Jesus // İsa’nın İçinde Bulunduğu Durum

So, the position of the criminals was that they were overwhelmed with anger, rage, sorrow and grief.

This is why they lashed out at Jesus.

Last week we looked at how Jesus forgave and prayed that God the Father would forgive those who were abusing him.

Forgiveness is something we CAN do, though we may not want to do it.

What made the change in one of the criminals?

Jesus Position as

  1. Innocent…truly innocent, and yet, he was …
  2. Suffering…for the sins of the world
  3. No Sinful Response from Jesus…he doesn’t whine about his situation, either
  4. Praying for others…I am sure that most who died on crosses
    1. prayed for their own situation,
    2. for their own forgiveness,
    3. for their own deliverance…
    4. but Jesus prayed for others to be forgiven.

This brings me to an important point:

When we pray for someone, we should not be surprised when they respond.

Jesus prayed forgiveness, and someone responded.

  1. The Changed Position of One of the Criminals // Suçlulardan Birinin İçinde Bulunduğu Durumun Değişmesi

One of the criminals repented.

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Luke 23:40-42

40 Ne var ki, öbür suçlu onu azarladı. “Sende Tanrı korkusu da mı yok?” diye karşılık verdi. “Sen de aynı cezayı çekiyorsun. 41 Nitekim biz haklı olarak cezalandırılıyor, yaptıklarımızın karşılığını alıyoruz. Oysa bu adam hiçbir kötülük yapmadı.” 42 Sonra, “Ey İsa, kendi egemenliğine girdiğinde beni an” dedi.

Luka 23:40-42

Let’s look at his repentance:

  • Rebuked the other criminal (and thus rebuking his own previous insults)… When we insult someone, publicly, we should repent publicly, too. Don’t send an email apology for a public transgression.
  • He feared God…He asked the other if he feared God.

All three of them were facing death in a few hours.

While we should fear God before we face death, still the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, as the Scriptures declare.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

Proverbs 1:7

7 RAB korkusudur bilginin temeli.

Süleyman’ın Özdeyişler 1:7

  • He recognized his crimes/sins and the just punishmentsometimes we treat “forgiveness” as a means of getting out of punishment, but punishment still comes
  • He recognized Jesus’ innocence
  • He recognized that Jesus was from God’s Kingdom. He stopped mocking Jesus and he surrendered to him. It is incredible to realize that even on the cross, Jesus evangelized.

Why did this man change?

  • He had been prayed for…I prayer walk and pray for people everywhere I go.

I believe that when I see someone and pray for them, I might be the first Christian to have ever prayed for that person.

We should expect changes when we pray.

We should pray even when we are do not feel like it…even when we don’t see the changes

  • He recognized and repented of his sin…we must all recognize our sins. It was startling for me when I was a teenager and I was sharing the Gospel with a guy older than I.

He stopped me and said, “Why do you call what I do ‘sin,’ but when you do it, you call it a ‘mistake?’” We need to constantly recognize sin and not give place for it in our lives.

  • He recognized and submitted to Jesus…People need to see Jesus. One of the problems when we share the news about Jesus is that people see us.
  • Sometimes our example bothers people. Like Ghandi said,

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Mesihinizi seviyourum ama Hristiyanlarınızı sevmiyorum. Çünkü Hristyanlarınız hiç de Mesihinize benzemiyor.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes we try to be so perfect that we unintentionally present an ideal that is too hard to keep up.

We need to be real, and we need to let people see the real Jesus.

Being real as a Christian is to admit when we make a mistake (a sin), ask forgiveness and move forward.

  1. Jesus’ Verbal Response // İsa’nın Verdiği Sözlü Yanıt

Whereas Jesus’ first statement from the cross was something that he said in response to the many circumstances around him, and because of his love for all,

this statement is a direct answer to a request from a specific person.

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:42, 43

42 Sonra, “Ey İsa, kendi egemenliğine girdiğinde beni an” dedi.

43 İsa ona, “Sana doğrusunu söyleyeyim, sen bugün benimle birlikte cennette olacaksın” dedi.

Luka 23:42, 43

Again, Jesus could have just nodded and smiled, but he spoke.

The pain that shot through his legs as he pushed harder to gulp enough air in order to breathe and speak as his lungs filled with water didn’t stop him from speaking and giving comfort.

I began today saying that we need support from time to time.

Being a support to someone may mean changing our schedules.

It may mean inconveniencing ourselves.

For Jesus, he made this statement, his second from the cross, as a means of encouragement

Not only were they encouraging words to the criminal, but they revealed the truth, that…

Repentance plus belief in Jesus leads one to paradise. // İsa’ya olan imanla birlikte yapılan tövbe kişiyi cennete götürür.

Scriptures declare the following with regards to the repentant believer in Jesus:

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:8

8 Cesaretimiz vardır diyorum ve bedenden uzakta, Rab’bin yanında olmayı yeğleriz.

  1. Korintliler 5:8

So we’ve looked at the –

-position of the criminals before repentance,

-after repentance and –

-we’ve looked at Jesus’ position and

-verbal response…

what is our position?

  1. Our Position // Bizim İçinde Bulunduğumuz Durum

What can we take away from this story?

  • Are we ready for death? // Ölmeye Hazır Mısınız?

…this criminal was dying. The other was also dying but continued to insult Jesus.

The repentant criminal understood he was guilty, as should we. God’s Word declares:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God         Romans 3:23

23 Çünkü herkes günah işledi ve Tanrı’nın yüceliğinden yoksun kaldı.

Romalılar 3:23

Death awaits us all,

are we going to die and be in paradise?

or will we die and live in the judgment of hell?

As well the Scriptures declare:

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

23 Çünkü günahın ücreti ölüm, Tanrı’nın armağanı ise Rabbimiz Mesih İsa’da sonsuz yaşamdır.

Romalılar 6:23

  • We should continue to fear God // Tanrı’dan Korkmaya Devam Etmeliyiz

Fearing God is

-not just for us when we begin our relationship with Him through Jesus,

-and it is not only for those facing death.

-It is for all people.

The story of mankind in the Bible is the story of the few who feared God surrounded by the many who didn’t follow Him.

  • We should remain repentant // Daima Tövbekâr Bir Yüreğe Sahip Olmalıyız

keep our hearts open to God’s Holy Spirit and keep close to Him

  • No one is hopeless // Kimse Umutsuz Bir Durumda Değildir

this criminal was hopeless in the eyes of the world,

but Jesus still reached him.

Sometimes we may think some people are hopeless, but no one truly is.

If we begin to think people are hopeless, then we will lose sight of God, the giver of all hope.

  • We should expect positive answers to our prayers // Dualarımıza Olumlu Yanıtlar Beklemeliyiz

As Jesus prayed in general for those around him, we see that one person responded.

Prayer is never presented in the Bible as a cheerless action of regular monotony,

but as an active relational conversation with the Living God through the Living Lord Jesus, the Messiah

Let’s pray.

This entry was posted in Sermons, Seven Words of Jesus from the Cross and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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