The criminal we can learn from is the one you see Jesus speaking to in the picture. That criminal is sorry for his crimes. He asks Jesus: “Remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Now, as you can see in the picture, Jesus is speaking to this criminal. Do you know what Jesus is saying to him?—a Jesus is promising him: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
What do you think that Paradise will be like?— To make sure we get the right answer, let’s talk about the Paradise that God made for the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Where was that Paradise? Was it in heaven, or was it on earth?—
You are right if you say it was on earth. So when we think of the criminal being “in Paradise,” we should think of him living right here on earth when it becomes a paradise. What will that Paradise be like?— Let’s see.
After Jehovah God created the first human pair, Adam and Eve, the Bible says that he put them in a paradise right here on earth. It was called “a garden in Eden.” Can you imagine how beautiful the “garden in Eden” must have been?— Surely, it was a nicer and more beautiful place to live than anyone today has ever seen!
What do you think? Will Jesus be here on the earth with the criminal who was sorry for his sins?— No, Jesus will be in heaven ruling as King over the Paradise earth. So Jesus will be with the criminal in that he will raise him from the dead and see that he is taken care of in the Paradise on earth. But why will Jesus let a man who was a criminal live in Paradise?— Let’s talk about this.
It is true that this criminal did very bad things. But so have billions of other people who have lived on earth. Most of them, however, did bad things because they were never taught about Jehovah and what he wanted them to do.
So people like that, including the criminal Jesus spoke to on the stake, will be resurrected to life in Paradise right here on earth. They will be taught what God’s will is. Then they can prove that they love Jehovah.
Do you know how they can prove that?— By doing what God wants them to do. How wonderful it will be then to live in Paradise and always be with people who love Jehovah and one another!
a If you are reading with a child, the dash provides a reminder to pause and encourage the child to express himself.