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Tuesday July 24 – “Today you will be with me in Paradise”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly…” – Luke 23:39-43

Scripture reading: Luke 23:33-43

Two criminals were crucified with Jesus, one at either side. They both deserved their punishment. Both addressed Jesus with a last petition. The one spoke to Him in a challenging, mocking way: “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!” Only if Christ would get him and Himself out of this terrible predicament, would he believe that He was the Christ. Like many people, they will accept God if and when they’re rescued from their earthly trouble and distress, but otherwise… they’ll ignore and reject Him. Jesus did not respond to this man’s petition. The other criminal, however, knew his sin and guilt and confessed the justice of God in the punishment he suffered at the cross. He also knew that Jesus was hanging there innocently, that He was hanging there for the sins of others. Thus he pleads with Jesus if He could also bear his sin and guilt and remember him for a place in God’s kingdom instead of in the hellish forsakenness that he deserved!

This criminal probably knew Jesus, was raised with the Scriptures and the promises of the Messiah. He recognized in Jesus the Redeemer and he remembered God’s grace with His sinful people, Israel, again and again. Hence he prays for mercy, for forgiveness and for the fulfillment of God’s promises. His prayer was heard when Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Suggestions for prayer

Pray in awareness of sin and guilt. Ask in humbleness of heart for forgiveness. And thank God for His grace and mercy which Christ obtained for us on the cross by bearing our sins.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.


"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.


Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.


Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church


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