“Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with me in Paradise.’”
I well recall some years ago a company advertising their food product preparation time as being “Faster than instant”. I am certain that the company did not mean to insult the intelligence of the listeners when they used that phrase to describe the speed with which their product could be prepared.
We instantly recognize the contradiction in the phrase because nothing can be faster than instant. At times though we may be in a situation where we would like things to speed up a little. Waiting in a long line at the store, waiting for test results from the doctor, those are just a couple of instances when we wish to advance the clock and be past whatever slows us down.
The repentant thief had asked Jesus to remember him some time in the future when He came in His kingdom. It is likely that the poor thief meant that when the end of the age came and Jesus was revealed as the King then he desired a place in that kingdom.
It is interesting that the man was willing to wait for a long time in the valley of death for the time to come for Jesus to be revealed and the kingdom established. As long as he would be “remembered” the thief was willing to wait any length of time it seems.
The other thing about this humble request was that the man did not ask for any special position in the coming kingdom, he just wanted to be included in it. In Matthew 20:20-27 we read of two of the apostles coming with their mother to request that they have the chief places in Jesus’ kingdom.
In Luke 22:24 we read of another time when the twelve all fought with each other as to who was the greatest. It was the night before the cross when Jesus was about to be humbled greatly and die the death of His people to meet their deepest need. All that was on their minds at such a great hour was their own pride.
Sometimes a very new Christian like this thief can show more wisdom that those who have walked with Jesus for years.
The man was willing to wait for as long as it took just to be made part of that great and eternal kingdom. Jesus gave the man much more than he asked for or expected. Jesus told him that within hours they both would be in that kingdom. Jesus said, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Jesus responded in an instant with the request of the man.
How like our Lord to answer the humble cry with an abundant answer. Our Beloved Saviour is generous beyond measure to those who come with a humble heart seeking the very least. In the remarkable Psalm 23 the writer says of God’s generosity, “My cup runs over”. Come to this generous Saviour today and ask of Him what is needed. He will grant your prayer and give you more than you asked for, such is His generosity.