The Criminal on the Cross

“Today you will Be in Paradise with  Me.”

On the cross with Jesus two criminals were being crucified. One on his right hand side and the other on his left hand side.  One of the criminals hurled insults at Jesus saying, “If you are God’s son, save yourself and us?”

However, the other criminal rebuked him saying, “Don’t you fear God even now. We have done wrong and our punishment is just but he has done nothing wrong, “Jesus when you come as King please remember me,” said the repentant criminal.

Jesus said to him, “I promise you today you will be in paradise with me.”

We do not know much about the criminal on the cross. But at the point of his death, he believed that his punishment was just and he deserved death. He also believed Jesus had done nothing wrong. He also believed Jesus who was just was dying for the unjust.

This was not about the good deeds outweighing the bad deeds. If this had been the case the repentant criminal would never have entered paradise. Entering paradise is not based on our good deeds but the mercy of God. The criminal accepted that Jesus was not being punished for his own sins because he had done nothing wrong.

A life that may have been seen as a total failure from the onlookers who were jeering at the repentant criminal on the cross, was in God’ sight not a failed life but a life that entered paradise.

So what is this paradise Jesus promised the criminal? Paradise is a place where there is love because God is love. It is a place where there is no human frailty and where we do not grow old. It is a place where there is no more pain, suffering, tears or death. Paradise is a place where only pure love exists. (The story of the repentant thief is found in Luke Chapter 23 in the Bible)

   Dear Jesus,

I come to you as did the repentant thief,

Please remember me now in your mercy and love

And when I die

I also want to be in paradise with you.

Thank you for dying in my place.

Help me now to live for you now.



By harbajan (servant of Jesus)