What does it mean? Jesus replied to the thief “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) The Apostle Paul explains that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Acts 24:15) Since no unrighteous individuals are allowed entry to Heaven. Both Jesus and Paul were speaking about an Earthly Paradise.
False Religion and her minions reject "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, yes, that he was raised up on the third day according to the Scriptures;" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Nobody is resurrected from Heaven to be on the earth. Notice Jesus never stated you will be with me in Heaven as oppossers of the Jesus Christ claim. Romans 10:9 states if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, You will be saved.
Why is such a simple message often reected by false religion? Many translations place a comma before the word “today” and thereby giving the impression that both Jesus and the evildoer entered into Heaven that very same day. Jesus himself was dead and in the tomb until the third day and was then resurrected as “the firstfruits” of the first resurrection. The scriptures state that Jesus ascended to Heaven after 40 days after his resurrection. Where was he during those 40 days? Since Jesus sacrificed his fleshly body once for all time, he manifested and taught his disciples in different fleshly bodies here on earth about God's Kingdom. (Acts 1:3-11)
The scriptures state after he had suffered, he showed himself alive to them (how?) by many convincing proofs. He was Seen by them throughout 40 days, and he was speaking about the Kingdom of God." (Acts 1:3) Just think, after spending 40 days with his disciples in different bodies, he still showed himself ALIVE by Many Convincing Proofs. Something he would have no need to do, if he was resurrected in his own body.
When you think of it. Even when Jesus appeared to his disicples a second time as a group, this time with Thomas. They saw a man standing in their midst saying 'May you have peace'. None of them exclaimed, there he is.... JESUS! This is because they did not know who this man was. But then Jesus says to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting but believe." (John 20:27)
What was different with this specific manifesting than others? This was the only time he manifested with his wounds. See, if Jesus manifested in his own body, even without wounds, his disciples would have known who he was. But yet again, Jesus was in a different body. Notice Thomas response to seeing the wounds,“My Lord and my God! (John 20:28)
When a person performs a certain feat that overwhelms a person witnessing it, we might hear the expression OMG! It doesn't mean that this person is God. However, if we look up the Greek we can see how Thomas made a simliar statement that was much more refining.
Thomas answered and said to him, "You are the Lord of me and the God of me!" (John 20:28 Greek) It was at this precise moment in time, that Thomas realized and was given an epiphany that Jesus is 'the Christ, the Son of the living God.' (Mathew 16:16) In like manner, Moses was God to Aaron and Pharoh. Yet, we all know that Moses is not God.
One should also note that Thomas never asked to see Jesus body but rather his nail prints and his side. Evidently all the disciples and the women alike, had the same account of seeing Jesus in a differnet body, but without wounds. Therefore, this would cause Thomas to doubt that it was Jesus appearing to them and this is why the account reads as it does, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will never believe it.”
Yet, after all these proofs, notice what (John 20:30-31) states. "To be sure, Jesus also performed Many Other Signs before the disciples, which are not written down in this scroll. But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his Name."