posted on May, 11 2008 @ 09:34 PM
I don't know if this has been touched on, but the verse telling the thief on the cross saying "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me
in paradise" (Luke 23:43) is a little misleading in the English translation. In the original greek there was no punctuation (no comma before
"today"), and the order of the words has been slightly changed in teh English. This is the order of the words translated literally from the
Verily to you am I saying today with Me shall you be in paradise
Christ must be saying: "To you I am saying today, with me shall you be in paradise", as in something he was telling him that day, a promise that he
would be resurrected from the dead, and this is for many reasons....
1: Christ went to the grave for three days and three nights, he himself didn't got to paradise!
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart
of the earth.
2: Since Christ is raised from the dead first, and he wasn't rasied from the dead for another three days and three nights, then for the thief to go
to paradise that day, he would have to be resurrected before Christ, which contradicts scripture....
1CORINTHIANS 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
3: As the obove passage also points out, and which also touches on the question asked by the OP, the first resurrection where the faithful are risen
from the dead does not take place until the second coming of Christ, so nobody yet is in heaven or hell. Hell is another story altogether, the
majority of the words translated as hell in English actually mean grave, except for the word Gehenna, which is in referenece the lake of fire at the
great judgement. Another word, tartarus, is a place of restraint and talking about fallen angels, not men.
4: Also we have to take note of the words of Jesus, more than three days after he told this to the thief on the cross....
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto
my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
The thief on the cross didn't go that day with Jesus to paradise, for the simple reason that Jesus himself didn't go, since he was still in the
grave. As others here have pointed out, there are numerous verses talking of the dead knowing nothing, returning to dust etc. Afterall, if the dead go
straight to heaven at the moment of their deaths, then what is the point of the future resurrection from the dead at the return of Christ?
Jesus even points out that we are rewarded for our good deeds at the future resurrection, not at the point of our death, so how can we receive a
reward before this point?
LUKE 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Also, if anyone body should have gone to heaven, King david would have been one of them, since God calls him "a man after my own heart", but notice
that even after the death of Christ, Peter says that David is still in the grave, and has not risen to heaven....
Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would
raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which
ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
And by the way, it is my belief that the paradise Jesus was talking about, it his future kingdom, here on earth.