“Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
Paradise (Gr. Paradeisos, from Pardec): A park, orchard, garden, a place of future bliss
Paradise is a very real place though not of this earthly realm. It is a heavenly realm in the Spirit. It is a place of which words cannot convey. It is a place of glorious splendor and beauty. The Apostle Paul was taken there as he describes in his second Epistle to the Corinthians:
“I knew a man in Christ over fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell, God knows). Such a one was caught up to the third heaven. He was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (II Corinthians 12:2,4).
These two witnesses to Paradise, Jesus and the Apostle Paul, give us strong evidence of the reality of this garden park, this orchard, this place of bliss, happiness and extreme joy.
Jesus told us He is going to prepare a place for us in His Father’s House and within that glorious Estate is the Paradise of God (cf. John 14:3).
The Apostle John in his visions in Revelation says in the Letter to Ephesus: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches. To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
The Paradise of God. There is something glorious upon which to contemplate regarding this Paradise of God. Heavenly splendor, brilliance of Light, the River and Tree of Life, ineffable glorious beauty; indeed, too marvelous of which to speak. It is enough to know of its glorious Eternal Reality and that it awaits those that overcome.
“Awake, O North wind, and come thou South, blow upon My Garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let My Beloved come into His Garden, and eat His pleasant fruits” (Song of Songs 4:16).
Do you sense the fragrance of Paradise? Does the zephyr of the Holy Spirit draw you to that place of tranquility, peace, joy, ecstasy and delight? You do not have to be a mystic to enjoy this rapturous estate. The Psalmist said, “You will show me the path of Life; in Thy Presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalms 16:11).
The Apostle said he was “caught up into Paradise”. The Prophet Elijah experienced this catching away when “it came to pass, as they (Elijah and Elisha) went on and talked; then, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (II Kings 2:11). Oh, the glory of the great catching away we will all share upon the return of our Lord in that glorious day when He declares again, “This day you shall be with Me in Paradise”.