Although, he is not mentioned by name, in the Gospel account, Christian tradition identifies the penitent thief as Dismas. It is not clear why Dismas is condemned to such a cruel, painful death as Crucifixion, which the Romans normally reserved for more serious crimes- such as Rebellion and Murder,etc. not Thievery.
Perhaps, Dismas was just unlucky and robbed the wrong person at the wrong time.
The other thief in the same ordeal, joined the crowd in insults and mockery of the dying "Saviour" their companion, in the terrible scene.
Dismas, however, responded differently.
He had probably lived a wasted, insignificant life and had little if anything to commend him to God for any kind of eternal reward or redemption.
Broken, bleeding and naked and with no visible hope, he took responsibility for his wasted life and refused to blame God or anyone for his condition "We have received our just reward, but, this man(Jesus) has done nothing wrong." His dying plea- "Lord ,remember me" was answered with the most comforting words, any dying person could possibly hear in their final moments;
"Today, you will be with me in Paradise"
To encourage love for God and each other as the best answer to to all of life's problems and perplexities- personal and communal, including the ultimate goal of eternal peace and fulfillment.
We look forward to hearing from you!