42.Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.
43.And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
The thief seems to have understood, that
Christ coming into his kingdom was a future event. “ remember me [when] you come into your kingdom” For me personally, I think the assurance Christ was giving to this dying thief, was in line with the thief’s understanding of a future kingdom. “Assuredly I say to you today/this day, you will be with me in paradise.” Christ gave assurance that very day, about a future day/event, the thief would be present with Christ when he comes into his kingdom.
What did Jesus mean by saying [paradise] ?
To the the best of my knowledge,the word paradise is only used three times in the N/T. And they are as follows :-Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:34, Rev 2:7.
Out of these three verses, the one that gives us most description on the location of paradise is Paul’s account, at :- 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows, such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
3 and I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows
4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Via Paul’s description paradise is up into the third heaven. Which is commonly excepted to be that beyond the sky and the sun/ moons/ stars etc …
1st/ heaven = sky Gen 6:7. Sky
2nd/ heaven = Matt 24:29. The sun/moon/and stars etc…
3rd/ heaven = Duet 10:4. The heavens above all heavens. [These examples by no means exhaustive]
Christ at his resurrection, made it clear that he had not yet ascended to his father and God.Jhon 20:17. Therefore I can only understand that Christ never went to paradise the day he died. It would seem he passed into the third heaven a k a paradise/ the heaven above the heavens/ after his resurrection from the dead and not before, Acts 1:9, Hebrews 4:14, 9:24 + Acts 7:55. Therefore I would assume that the dying thief, didn’t go to paradise with Christ that very day and neither did Christ himself go to paradise that very day. Therefore It more than suggests that the thief coming into Christ’s kingdom Was still yet to occur.
Ephesians 4:8 -12
8 Therefore He says “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
I am more inclined to believe these verses don’t have anything to do with Leading believers who are supposedly dead but not really dead [whatever that truly means] from a compartment in the earth [ie] paradise to heaven. The lower parts of the earth :- Strong’s def :- [The lower parts of the earth/ katōteros = inferior locally of Hades]. If this part of scripture is alluding to those alive/ dead people,being taken from Hades into heaven, then it would seem rather strange that King David is still there [after] Christ’s ascension Acts 2:27-29. David is the one still left in his grave/ hades, and Christ is the one ascended to heaven, having triumphed over death and over Satan by reason of God’s resurrecting him from the dead. Like a conqueror Jesus took [captives] from the enemy. These [captives] were men/women who had been in slavery to sin and death. They were now usable to God.
11 and He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
God could now offer these once [captives] of Satan, who were now [captives/ slaves] of Christ doing the will of God/ Ephesians 6:6, to be devoted to the service of God and his Christian congregation through Christ.
Rev 20: 13.
*13 The *sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works
The Hebrew word Sheol and Greek word Hades are synonyms. I believe that this is the place of unconsciousness, Eccl 9:5, Inactivity Eccl 9:10 and silence psalm 115:17. I see soul sleep between death and the resurrection as a biblical presentation were one sleeps in the dust of the earth Until the time of the resurrection. Gen 3:19 and Dan 12:2. I can’t believe that the sea holds departed souls as well as Sheol/ Hades Rev 20:23 ? For me the sea/ Sheol/ Hades, are earthly and watery graves Were one ceases to exist, until the resurrection of the dead, at which point Hades and death will be abolished.