“The message of Easter is not that Jesus is alive, it is so much more.
The message of Easter is that Jesus has risen.” (Colin Smith)
I recently listened to an audiobook entitled “Heaven, How I Got Here” by Colin Smith. A story that was inspired by the story of one of the thieves on the cross next to Jesus.
Luke 23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
I recommend this book so highly. In writing it, Colin Smith tried to imagine this thief looking back on the last day of his life on earth from the perspective of his new life in heaven. The story weaves together what we know from the Bible about the events of that day and views them through the eyes of the thief as he would have experienced them at the time, and as he can understand them now. If Jesus could & would save a thief a few hours before he died, there is lasting hope in Jesus! Hope if you have many decades left in life or even for a person coming to the end of his or her life. Incredible thought, isn’t it?
I encourage you to read Luke 23 & 24 sometime this week, it will be so well worth it!