Four Reasons Why Jesus and the Criminal Did Not Enter ‘Paradise’ When They Died (Luke 23:43)

In this short video I demonstrate that, contrary to popular preaching, Jesus and the criminal on the cross did not go to Paradise when they died on Good Friday (Luke 23:43). They both went to the grave (Hades), but Jesus affirmed the repentant criminal that he would indeed be remembered when Jesus returns to consummate the kingdom of God upon the earth.

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3 thoughts on “Four Reasons Why Jesus and the Criminal Did Not Enter ‘Paradise’ When They Died (Luke 23:43)

  1. Hi Dustin, thanks for this teaching on this fascinating and influential parable. I thought most of what you have to say is right.
    There was one line of reasoning, however, I’m not sure works out so well, and as a fan I see it my duty to interact with you on it 😉

    So, do you think there might be some incompatibility between these following two arguments.
    1. Nowhere do we hear certain (literal) words that would be necessary if this were to be a portrayal of the afterlife.
    2. This is a **parable** and not to be taken literally.

    I couldn’t help but feel that on these two points, that you were appealing to an absence (or a literal absence) of literal language before squashing the literal interpretation strategy.

    If you stand by these two points, could you develop how we can understand the literal limits ( I am referring to the divide, if we can sketch it, between ultimate reality, that is to say that which extends beyond individual or collective human experience, and human experience) of the parable genre, and if you see it as a plastic limit, how we can detect roughly where those specific limits might be?

    1. Thanks for interacting.

      I think the reason why most find this parable odd is because we are unfamiliar with the Egyptian folktales which Jesus seems to have adopted. All parables are comparisons. This one in particular compares the contrast between the privileged rich and the righteous poor with that Egyptian folktale. However, Jesus has modified that story and used the theme of reversal present within given to a rich man and a poor man. In my best attempt to find a modern analogy, consider the jokes about a dead person who finds himself in heaven before Peter’s gates having to answer why he deserves entrance into the blissful realm. I can tell that story/joke, although I don’t believe that is how the afterlife works.

  2. Dustin, you nailed it (no pun intended). I have firmly believed for close to thirty years that Christ was speaking of a future day when the Kingdom of God becomes a reality upon this earth, and that criminal will be resurrected to enjoy the Kingdom of God.

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