He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:

On our Eucharistic journey of remembrance, I wish to go back to go forward to what is about to take place before you in the Spirit to remember all the good that I have done for you and how carefully planned it all was to the very least detail.

What shall I return to the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation (Yeshuah (יְשׁוּעָה), literally meaning “salvation,” which is the name of Jesus in Hebrew) and call upon the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:12-13.

The cup of salvation is the cup of redemption, which is the third cup at the Seder meal, and is the cup that Jesus took to transform to His blood and commanded you to do the same in the power of the Spirit in remembrance of Him. And what are you doing when you take it up and call upon Me (for whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved, Romans 10:13)? You are making a return, turning back, to Me for all the benefits I have freely bestowed on you in Christ. Salvation, forgiveness, redemption, righteousness, sanctification, wisdom, healing, provision, and so much more.

If today you hear My voice, harden not your hearts.

There is much meaning here, many layers, many treasures. It is worth stopping to plunge down your buckets into the continuous living stream of revelation from My Spirit within you. Call on Me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things you could not know. Jeremiah 33:3. When I say this, I mean it, for it is impossible for Me to lie. I have told you to ask, seek, and knock and this should be your lifestyle with Me. I have so many wonderful things to tell you and to do in your life.

You may be asking if Jesus told the repentant criminal on the cross next to Him, who now I should call a “saint,” “Today you shall be with Me in paradise,” how is it that Jesus took your sentence to the double death from the Garden of Eden on the day of abdication of Adam from his throne as son of man to descend to the lowest regions of Sheol in order to take back that throne from Satan? This has many layers and facets but first let Me say that “Yes, that day, at his physical death, the repentant criminal was in Paradise, Abraham’s bosom, waiting for the resurrection of Jesus for the gates of Heaven to open. He did not go to hell as he had deserved from his life of rebellion and sin but he was saved because Jesus went to hell in his place. His sins had been transferred to Jesus and he was saved that day. In death he died with Jesus so he was with Him forever as well. He was with Him and never would be with the devil. And in His reply to the repentant criminal besides assuring him of salvation to be with Me forever, Jesus was giving all those standing around the Cross a warning that most did not heed and resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem in forty years from when He died that day on the Cross, for Jesus is your rest, your promised land, your Shabbat.”

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” Hebrews 3:12-15.

Jesus is Lord of the Shabbat. In His answer to the criminal turned saint, Jesus was referring to Psalm 95 ahd Deuteronomy 30:14-15, but also giving the definition of “Today” from Psalm 2. For He is the resurrection and the life. For all who come it is “Today.”

When I raised Jesus from the pit of Sheol as the first born again believer as the first fruits of those who believe, the Words I said to Him that raised Him by the power of My Spirit were as follows: “You are My Son, TODAY I have begotten you!” Psalm 2:7, Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5.

And that is the day for all of you. And even now, it is still “Today,” for all those who are being saved. To each new believer who comes to My Son I declare, “You are My Son, TODAY I have begotten you!” Psalm 2:7. And each morning My mercies are new.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

And I will show you when this took place for Jesus and for the criminal turned saint but first let us go back to the shadow of the substance, for the fulfillment of all is in Jesus.

When I brought the descendants of Abraham out of Egypt, having redeemed them with outstretched arm, taking them from in a nation to be a nation, taking them from slavery to freedom, taking them from poverty to prosperity, taking them from sickness to health, and leaving behind the ways of slavery, I led them across the wilderness teaching them to be My people and to walk in the freedom of My children. I let them hear My voice and I gave them My written Word. I did awesome signs, wonders, and miracles in the work I did to free them, provide for them in the barren waste, and to lead them to the land flowing with milk and honey that I had prepared for them.

But there was a problem, it was a faith problem, which is really a love problem, for faith works by love. They saw My works, but they were not interested in knowing Me. They never learned My ways though I stretched out My hands to them all the day. They were complainers, never thankful except for a fleeting moment right when a miracle happened and satisfied their desires, but doubting the next moment that I would ever provide again. They attributed evil intention to Me and not good. And that is why they refused to enter the land I had prepared for them, which was to be the place of their rest in Me.

Though I stooped to feed and care for them, they did not know I was their healer, at least they never saw Me in that way.

And what did I say in warning to each of you?

Today, if you would hear My voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me, they tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. Therefore, I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest.” Psalm 95:9-11.

Today the repentant criminal, who is now a saint, is with Me in the Kingdom as Jesus promised Him. Why? “Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your heart.” His heart opened to Jesus as He heard His voice, “Father, forgive them they know not what they do.” And the reply when he asked to be remembered in the Kingdom of My Son? “TODAY.” He entered the rest. He did not go to hell, he was saved forever and with Me in death, in Paradise with all those saved before Christ came in the flesh by faith in the good things to come. The TODAY when I raised Him from the dead as the first born again man. For you who died with Him were also raised with Him.

The whole interchange between My Son and the repentant criminal is from Scripture. Let Me show you:

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43.

First, he repented in accordance with My Words: “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds.” In these words you see all of the following:

Psalm 32:5: I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.

Psalm 51:17: A humble and a contrite heart, O God, You will not spurn.

And then in his declaration of the innocence of Jesus:

Isaiah 53:8-9: By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

Next, he turned to Jesus and said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”

Joel 2:31-32: “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”

He called upon the Name of Jesus (more about this in a moment), believing Him to be the King of the heavenly Kingdom that He was entering by His death, so he was declaring his belief in Jesus as Messiah and Lord and in the resurrection of the Messiah, and his faith in his own resurrection as well.

And where did he get “remember me?”

Psalm 25:6-7: Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, for they have been from everlasting. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.

But what happened to those around the Cross who hardened their hearts though Scripture, that they knew and studied, was being fulfilled, enacted perfectly, before their eyes? “For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest.”

How long after Jesus was crucified was Jerusalem destroyed? Remember at the time Jesus lived in the flesh, Israel was ruled by Rome. And the Romans came against Jerusalem in the years around AD 70, when Titus’ army destroyed the city of Jerusalem, including the Second Temple. Jesus was crucified exactly 40 years before the destruction of the city. Think about that.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44.

Do you remember, that in the wilderness when I led My people out of the Egypt, I did everything to assure them that I would give them the land I had promised Abraham for them, I told them of the giants and of how I would send My angel before them to clear them out. I told them of the beautiful cities, houses, fruit trees, vineyards, wells, and fields that I would give them as they took possession of the land. I promised them victory if they would just go forward by faith, as they had at the Red Sea, and I would make the way for them. But they mocked Me and cried all night long in refusal to walk with Me. They concluded they would rather die in the desert or return to slavery in Egypt than follow Me.

And I gave them sentence at the edge of the promised land when the Israelites refused to enter, saying My promise was not true: Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition. I, the LORD, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they will die.’” Numbers 14:33-35.

And so it happened.

Do you also remember that at the edge of the promised land of rest, it was ten of the twelve men that had gone in to spy upon the land to see if it was really as I said that brought back the evil report that My promise could not be performed that caused the people to fear? Do you remember their sentence for leading the people in sin? They were taken out almost immediately. I did not wait 40 years for their judgment. They were misleading and misrepresenting Me before My people and leading them into sin that caused them to lose the promised land.

Very soon after they ordered My Son crucified and led the people in denying Him as Son of God, the Messiah and Lord, in the year 36 AD, both Caiaphas and Pilate were dismissed from office by Syrian governor, Vitellius. They were dismissed and tried in Rome. Pilate was tried for excessive cruelty to prisoners and other infractions. His close relationship with the Jewish leaders was also a good part of the reason for his dismissal from office. Both Caiaphas and Pilate lost what they feared they would lose if they let Jesus live.

Caiaphas lost his power as High Priest and his power over the Roman governor. And Pilate lost his position. As he feared, he was no longer a “friend of Caesar,” and was condemned by the Roman tribunal before Caesar. What they feared came upon each of them. You call in what you fear just as much as you call in what you have faith to receive. Never bow because you think you will burn if you know what you are bowing to is wrong. Stand your ground for “many are the troubles of the righteous, but I deliver them out of them all.”

If you are wondering why you see that both Annas and Caiaphas are spoken of as high priests when there should be only one, it is because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, and both men held the position of High Priest for a sequence of time. Annas was High Priest until Jesus was about fifteen years old, being deposed from his position by the Roman authorities in 15 AD, and Caiaphas was removed from office in 36 AD, very soon after the crucifixion of Jesus.

The repentant criminal took the heeding of Psalm 95 and entered the rest. The other criminal died in his own sins and so did many of the priests and elders, the members of the Sanhedrin who stood around the Cross jeering, scoffing, and hardening their hearts to the obvious fulfillment of the Promise. They missed the time of their visitation. For it is always “today” for the day of Salvation.

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2.

As we already discussed, this rejection of My Word and hardening of their hearts against Me was not new. I had been through this before with their ancestors in the desert at the edge of the land where I had promised them rest, rest from sorrowful toil, from oppression, from slavery, from poverty, from sickness, from fear, and from eternal death. A place where they would be My people and I would be their God. A place where I would put My Name and bless them with all good things. But they refused Me.

Why? They did not mix faith with My promises and all who had rejected My Word died forty years later in the wilderness without entering My rest. But those who had taken My promise of “today” and kept it alive in their hearts, that is, Joshua and Caleb, did enter, but their today was still “today,” though they had to wait for it. The promise of “Today” held for them until they were able to enter.

When I raised Jesus out of the grave, I declared,  “You are My Son, today I have begotten you!” Psalm 2:7, Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5. And that is the day for all of you. And even now, it is still “Today,” for all those who are being saved.

Do you remember the warning of Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders?

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24.

There is only one living way to Me and that is through Jesus, He is your redemption and He is your promised land of rest and every blessing. He is Salvation in every situation. And all who call on His Name are saved. For it is the only Name given among men by which you are saved.

Do you recall what the criminal who heeded My voice said to Jesus?

“Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” Luke 23:42.

He was the first one to call upon the only Name by which you are saved.

Do you recall after I raised Jesus from the dead and He had poured out the Holy Spirit on His followers in fulfillment of the day of Pentecost that Peter and John, in the Name of Jesus and by faith in that Name, cured a man crippled from birth at the gate of the Temple? Annas and Caiaphas and the others of the high-priestly descent were furious and they called them in to question them about using that Name. But Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, was fearless before them so he replied:

“Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12.

Remember Jesus on the Cross and you will never harden your heart again. And the good news is your heart is not hard. I have given you a new heart and put My Spirit in it.

I love you. Remember TODAY is your day. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:22-24.

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:1-11.

Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.’ As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He whom God raised did not undergo decay. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is forgiven from all things, from which you could not be forgiven through the Law of Moses. Acts 13:26-39.