Yesterday I saw a T-shirt bearing the word Love Paradise and it got me thinking on the many different takes on “Paradise”. Where I live, we have Paradise Inn and Seafood Paradise which are in the business of serving up quality and tantalizing meals in a congenial setting. And, how about an escapade to Paradise Island, be it in Bahamas, the Maldives or Singapore? Why, there is even a “lovely simulation game” called Paradise Island for “all sun and sea lovers!” according to a search using Google.
Turning to the Holy Bible, the following words spoken by Jesus on Paradise even as He hung on the cross at Calvary came to my mind: “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”” (Luke 23:39 – 44; NKJV)
This brought me back to the Word of God before He was made manifest in person as the Jesus we know: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1 – 5; NKJV)
As an aside, all of my Christian life I had visualized that God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit was at the “In the beginning God created…”. But, it was not until recently when I learnt that it is more correctly God the Father, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who was at the Beginning.
When the Word of God was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary, this was what the angel of the LORD revealed to Joseph: “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20 – 22; NKJV)
Before the Word of God was called “Jesus”, He was, well, known only as the Word of God! “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14; NKJV)
Hear then, this is what the Word of God in us can do for us. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12 – 13; NKJV)
Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and to redeem mankind from the curse of sin --which is death, by His death at Calvary. He is now risen from the dead as the first of many to come (a prototype, if you will) and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is now with us while we complete our sojourning on this earth to complete the good works which He has started in us before our appointed time comes to a fullness.
The Word of God has come to us to us through the Law and the Prophets, and in these final days through the Son of God, Jesus. It is nigh time for us to feed on the Word of God made available now in both the Old and New Testaments as contained in the Holy Bible and in both printed and online versions. We can also watch and/or hear the preaching of the Word of God on television, internet and media player. And, of course, keep going to church. We can’t live without the Word of God, literally.
There is more to come as we approach Christ’s Second Coming. Hear what Jesus says: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7; NKJV)
Truly, the Word of God is infallible and it is like a Paradise of food that we can feed on so as to enrich our soul so much so that it can reach down into our spirit (inner core of our being) and then made manifest in our flesh. And, it will bring us right into the Paradise of God!