By David McKissic, aka Davey ASAPH: "Paradise"
For this year's Holy Week, we've had Soma artists create meditations based on Jesus' "Seven Last Words" - seven statements the Bible records Jesus saying during his crucifixion.
To be fully known yet fully loved and accepted is what the human heart desires above almost everything. When Christ declared, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” it was comfort for the worst sinner that trusted Christ that rang out through the universe and for eternity. The thief that hung on the cross – a bloody, guilty mess - looked our suffering savior in the eyes and bet his eternity on the sinless man. If that man was actually God, he’d know everything the thief had ever done. Every part of him: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Yet Christ desired him.
So I wrote “Paradise” in the reality that Christ laid his life down for the worst, most undeserving sinner that would turn to him and trust him.
If that idea of “the worst, most undeserving” makes you start thinking out names … Stop and look inward. We are the worst, most undeserving sinners we know. This should produce praise, worship, gratitude, obedience, and humility.
I wrote this from the perspective of the thief, who is now our brother in the faith. But it’s also from my own perspective, because I got lost in the narrative of Luke 23:39-43 and the overflow of grace and love that was offered from our King to the thief. He was a thief, used to taking and not paying; yet the savior was hanging there paying for his life. I felt his perspective was so unique and deserved communicating, as we all can relate to it.
Lastly, one line sums up the song for me. It is “I’m the prince of thieves loved by the King of kings.” We should all weep singing those lines! I hope you enjoy it and reflect on the grace that Christ gave and gives for the worst parts of you!
David's piece is based on the Word "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."
Image: Titian, "Christ and the Good Thief"