How the thief stole paradise
The two thieves judged themselves. The one asked to be taken down, the other asked to be taken up. There was something material in the soul of the one on the right that responded to that intercessory prayer of our Lord, 'Father, forgive.' Then there came the conviction of sin. This thief on the right said to his brother thief on the other side, 'We are suffering justly for our sins. This man has done no wrong,' And then he asked only to be remembered: 'Remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Kingdom? In the whole gospel is there any faith comparable to that of this man? Here he looks upon what is seemingly a condemned criminal and so he spoke of him at the beginning--and he sees a crown of thorns as a royal diadem. The nail in his hand is a scepter. The blood is his royal purple. The crucifixion is his installation and coronation. And he asks to be remembered. The Lord replied, 'This day thou shalt be with me in paradise.' On the day we die we go to Christ. 'This day thou shalt be with me in paradise.' I always wonder why our Lord needed to say 'in paradise' , because to be with him is paradise. The thief died a thief, for he stole paradise. And paradise can be stolen again.