Even cursorily evaluating this statement the second saying of Christ Jesus as He hung on the Cross, living up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins, we see PROFOUND TRUTHS hidden in it. Delving deeper accentuates these subheadings so much further that it is simply baffling to the human mind, the depth of meaning that each word (carefully chosen) in this SECOND SAYING of Christ Jesus – Verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43). Deeper analysis uncovers the hidden treasures in this expression of Christ Jesus.
VERILY (the SAYING was a PROMISE)
We see the usage of the word ‘Verily’, to mean PROMISORILY, MOST ASSUREDLY, TRULY and in simple terms to mean that IT CANT BE OTHERWISE! The term ‘Verily’ is used ONLY in the second saying on the cross, but it mentioned many times in the Gospels to express ABSOLUTE TRUTHS. Matthew records it 24 Times, Mark 12 Times, Luke 6 Times and John 24 Times. By using the term ‘Verily’, Jesus was CLARIFYING ALL DOUBTS and questions in the mind of the criminal as well as all those who heard him, that what he had once said before was INDEED true and that is JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE and no Man cometh unto the Father but by him. There is NO OTHER WAY or MEANS to SALVATION and this was a PROMISE – Verily / Truly / It cant be Otherwise
I SAY UNTO YOU (the ADDRESS was PERSONAL)
Replace the word ‘YOU’ with your Name and you will still hear Jesus unto you the same He said to the penitent malefactor on the Cross. Jesus is a Personal God and He is interested in your personal life and mine and He is making this a personal statement to and for you.
TODAY (the element of TIME was the PRESENT)
Jesus said ‘Today’ meaning that the DAY of SALVATION for the criminal was not any other time, but THE PRESENT. You don’t have to WAIT for another time to be believe in the Name of Jesus and be saved. I plead, DON’T PROCRASTINATE or TARRY. The Scripture records that Now (the PRESENT) is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2). Now is the appointed time for us, the creation to meet the Creator God, Jesus as a Savior.
SHALT THOU BE WITH ME (Man’s PRESENCE with GOD)
“Shalt thou be with me”, indicates the PRESENCE of God WITH Man. It is the PRESENCE, NOT PROXIMITY. God is NOT Only NEAR you in your situations of life, God is WITH you in your situation. In the fiery trials that the three Hebrew boys, Hanniah, Mishael and Azariah faced, Jesus Christ, the Son of God was in the fire with them as expressed by a pagan king. God became Immanuel, meaning God is present with us, in the person of Jesus, so that Man could be present with God and Jesus affirms this.
IN PARADISE (the DESTINATION is PARADISE)
Ever wonder why Jesus did not use the word ‘Heaven’ but instead said paradise. The history of the word paradise is an extreme example of amelioration, the process by which a word comes to refer to something better than what it used to refer to. The old Iranian language Avestan had a noun pairidaēza-, meaning “a wall enclosing a garden or orchard,” which is composed of pairi-, “around,” and daēza- “wall.” The adverb and preposition pairi is related to the equivalent Greek form peri, as in perimeter. Daēza- comes from the Indo-European root *dheigh-, “to mold, form, shape.” This Greek word paradeisos was used in the Septuagint translation of Genesis to refer to the Garden of Eden, whence Old English eventually borrowed it around 1200.
Honestly, I don’t know if Paradise is a geographical location synonymous with ‘Heaven’ when God’s throne is, or if it is metaphorical as in the saying that God lives in the praises of men and /or if it is physical with a longitudinal and/or latitudinal construct. I dont know. But what surfaces is that if the root of the word paradise was pairidaēza meaning “a wall enclosing a garden” it reminds me of the garden of Eden where man communed with God was shut from man by a wall of a flaming sword and angel so that man could not access the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). Man could not have access to the garden where God came down in the cool of the evening to be with his creation. Now with the final and finishing act of God’s redemptive work, demonstrated by Jesus being crucified in the stead of man, we see that the perimeter wall that precluded man from reaching God (and access to THE TREE OF LIFE i.e., Jesus) in the garden is now removed and the garden (paradise) is accessible to man as expressed by Jesus when he said, Verily, I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise. The garden that was shut is now open. Furthermore, irrespective of where paradise is physically, I believe that when Jesus is WITH me and you, anyplace is Paradise.
VERILY – indicates that this saying was a PROMISE
I SAY UNTO YOU – indicates that the address was PERSONAL
TODAY – indicates that the element of time was the PRESENT
SHALT THOU BE WITH ME – indicates Man’s PRESENCE with GOD
IN PARADISE – indicates the destination is PARADISE