Drumroll please. This is our last kingdom text: Luke 23:42. It comes with evocative connections:
42 Then he said, ?Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ?
43 Jesus answered him, ?I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.?
1. The good criminal on the cross petitions Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom, and the criminal clearly sees kingdom as eternity at some level — as Jesus’ eternal kingdom.
2. Jesus promises that the man will be with Jesus “today” in Paradise. “Paradise” is a typical Jewish term for new creation and the garden of delights opened to those who are God’s people after death.
3. Jesus — no one else — promises this man Paradise because he recognizes Jesus as innocent, himself as guilty and in need of mercy, and he sees in Jesus the way into kingdom’s paradise.
4. Notable here is that this all happens “today” — in that day at that time. In other words, if we connect Paradise to kingdom, then clearly this kingdom reference refers to a post-death eternal reality.
Has anyone turned this series into a Word document? Let me know if you have.
After our Preparing for Pentecost I will do a series on the meaning of “wrath” in the NT, but I may have to wait until we get back from South Africa to get it going.