“Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
We attended a wedding held in a beautiful church building. We knew the groom and his family well, all three generations. A wedding is a happy occasion, the celebration of God’s design for the family through the joining of a man and woman as one in the sight of God. As the service began, I received a vision of a my body laying dead in a coffin before the gathering. I was viewing this happy funeral from among the audience. It was a homecoming and reunion of close friends and family. There was no sadness, no trouble or war, the world and its cares were removed and forgotten. Only joy and peace was there, like a wedding bringing forth a new family. The temporal body represented the world of sadness and decay, but all around was life, joy and rejoicing in fellowship and love. We live in a land of shadows that can blind us to God’s love and goodness. This is what’s real, rather than the shadows, which will be removed with the dawning of Heaven and via an occasional vision from His grace.
When the light of Heaven illuminates the pure truth of God and His eternal kingdom of love and the saints enter into their Lord’s joy, it will be paradise with no remembrance of sorrow, oppression, worry or fear, only love in the presence of God. Luke recounts prophecy describing this, “because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
I think the purpose of this vision was to remind me and you, even now, God is all around His people, protecting, providing for and loving each of us. We must endure hardship and some pain and hurt, eventually death in this world, just as Yeshua did, but it is not substantial, only a passing shadow, emotion or reflection, rather than an object of substance. (Matt. 4:16; Isa. 9:2) We will one day see complete truth in holy purity. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)