Station 11: Jesus Promises the Kingdom to a Thief

“One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, ‘So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!’

But the other criminal protested, ‘Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.’

And Jesus replied, ‘I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”

Luke 23:39-43

That’s all it takes. “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Simple and straightforward belief, and now he will be with Jesus in paradise. All we need to do is accept Jesus, accept that his kingdom is here, his kingdom is real. We just need to ask that he remembers us, that he knows who we are. 

How often do we overcomplicate how simple and beautiful the gospel is? We put all these other requirements on it. We ask people to jump through manmade hoops to prove to us that they believe. We even ask ourselves to prove that we are saved. How many good deeds can I do here on earth? How many people can I convert? How many ministries can I be involved in? 

Jesus just wants our belief, our heart. He just wants us to see him, acknowledge him, and ask to be let into the kingdom. That’s it. For Easter this year, let’s uncomplicate the process. Just be with Jesus, just let him know you believe. And rest in the fact that we will for sure be with him paradise. 

What restraints have you put on your own salvation? What requirements have you added? It’s simple and free, ask for the Lord to remind you of that.

For Kids:

Ask your kids to go find their most prized possession. Have them explain to the you where they got it, how they got it, and why it is so important to them. 

Ask them what they would be willing to trade for this prized possession: money, another toy, etc. 

Would they give it to you for free?

Read Luke 23:39-43.

Ask them what Jesus gave to the thief. The promise to be with Jesus in paradise is the most prized possession that Jesus could offer to the thief, and guess what? It was free!

Pray with your children, thanking God that he offers paradise to all of us for free.

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