Jesus said the crucified thief would be with Him in paradise
(Luke 23:43). Paradise is located in the presence of God’s throne. (II Cor. 12:2-4).
Christ did not go to paradise that same day. Christ went to
the grave (Acts 2:31).
The truth of this scripture lies in the proper punctuation.
A comma placed before the word “today” is incorrect. The comma should follow it – “verily
I say unto you today, thou shalt be with me in paradise.”
Remember that punctuation was not used in the original Greek which
Luke wrote. It was added into the Greek and English centuries later by men.
The inspired original Greek could be read either way. Since the punctuation
can change the meaning entirely, we need to let the
remainder of the Bible interpret what Christ said.
By using the word “today,” Christ was stressing the time he was
making the promise – not the time that the thief would be in paradise. Christ was saying that He
could make this promise today, even as He hung on the stake. He could see by the attitude of
the thief that he would repent when he was resurrected for the Great White Throne Judgment
and that he would then enter paradise – God’s Kingdom.