Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
The Teacher is the Savior too. And in the excruciating agony and public humiliation of the cross, He reaches out to one of the two thieves suffering alongside of Him.
Luke pictures the ridicule of the mob surging and taunting at the foot of the cross. In pain and despair, even one of the two thieves adds to the chorus of jeers.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other thief defended Jesus - We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Demonstrating faith in difficult circumstances is perhaps the greatest test of one’s trust. And this penitent thief calls out for Jesus to remember Him when He comes in His kingdom.
His belief in the power of Jesus to provide a life after death is nothing short of amazing.
And it is equally incredible that in physical agony and surrounded by death, Jesus is able to reach out to one more person with words of healing and encouragement.
He promises Paradise.
For a few more hours they will share the cross. Then that very day they will meet again in a place of joy and comfort. He will be with Jesus…in Paradise.
This is the promise every student of Jesus holds most dearly in times of trial and pain. If we endure suffering with Jesus for a few hours now, then we will surely be with Him in paradise.
Forever together with Him!