39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him,“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
And that’s exactly what the criminal did. He repented, owning up to his deeds making mention of his sentence being just and also saying he’s receiving the due reward for his deeds. After this he turned to God. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And right there Jesus accepted him saying, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
According to Luke 15:10 there was rejoicing in heaven:
10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Could you imagine what happened next?
I sometimes wonder what may have happened at the moment this man dies. Reunited in Heaven with Jesus, saved by grace, he falls to his knees in awe struck wonder and joy. He may even still be hearing the rejoicing over the repentance of his sins, among other things, which just happened a few moments earlier. I can only imagine, Jesus, through all the pain and agony he was going through, felt joy as he was able to be there for one more, before dying on the cross. I wonder if Jesus took a walk with him that day.