The second cry Jesus gave from the CROSS is found in Luke 23:43 (KJV). “Verily I say unto thee, today thou shalt be with me in paradise.” The thief who was hanging on the CROSS beside Jesus was touched by his life. He saw how Jesus loved people who hated him. He became a believer as he hung dying beside the Lord Jesus. Can’t you just hear him saying to Jesus? “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Isaiah 52:14 tells us that the face of Jesus was so mutilated that you could barely tell that He was a human. This crucified Jesus, this spat upon Jesus, this ridiculed Jesus, this dying Jesus, looked over at the thief and said: “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” The Greek word for paradise is paradeisos. It is a picture of heaven, the place where God’s presence and glory are fully manifested and experienced.
No act of love in the world can equal the love of the Lord Jesus. In John 13:34-35 (KJV) Jesus said: “A new commandment I give unto you; that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Jesus also said: “Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13 (KJV). And then He let them crucify Him for our sins.
Words cannot describe the glory, majesty, and splendor of Jesus’ home, heaven. The streets are gold. The gates are pearl. The walls are jasper. No night in heaven, because the power of God and Jesus are so strong that they literally light up this beautiful city. No one will be sad or sick. No one will be crippled. No one will die. Everything and everybody will be perfect! We will have peace forever! That is where the thief is right now, heaven.
Only one class of people will be in heaven, saved people. These are people who have truly repented of their sins and made Jesus their Lord and Savior by faith. I can hear the choir from my home church singing: “How beautiful heaven must be. Sweet home of the happy and free. Fair haven of rest for the weary, how beautiful heaven must be.” I will be there. Will you?