With Christ in Paradise
Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. All the characters that were in the Garden of Eden are represented at Calvary where Jesus was crucified. God is represented by Jesus. Satan is represented by the thief that mocked Jesus just as he did when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness “If thou be the Son of God…If thou be Christ…” (Matthew 4:3). And mankind (Adam and Eve) are represented by the thief that rebuked Satan, feared God, confessed his guilt, believed that Jesus is Lord, and humbled himself and asked Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom. Then Jesus promises him that today he will be with him in paradise.
Crucified, buried, and resurrected with Christ
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Romans 6:5-6, 8 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. … Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live (Gr. zao); yet not I (Gr. ego), but Christ liveth (zao) in me: and the life which I (zao) now live in the flesh I live (zao) by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Here in Galatians there are two different Greek words that are translated into our English pronoun “I”. Zao- to live, breathe, to be among the living; and ego- I, me, my. Praise Jesus! Zao, a new living creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Paradise with Christ in the Spirit. Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Steps to paradise
Jesus opened the door to paradise for us at Calvary. He could have said to the thief that he is born again because he feared God, rebuked Satan, confessed his sin, and believed that Jesus is Lord. But he said today you will be with me in paradise. Could this be an example for us today? Paradise is awarded to overcomers in Revelation chapters two and three. What do overcomers do? They rebuke Satan. They resist the Devil. They humble themselves and stand strong in their faith. Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by (faith) the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Praise Jesus forever!
See also; Return to paradise