Which Place Did Jesus Go – Paradise or Heaven?
Luke 22:42,43 states: "Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
Hebrews 9:12,13 states: "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."
Some skeptics have charged the Bible with another alleged contradiction. They say Luke's record of Jesus telling the thief on the cross "Today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 22:42,43) contradicts the Hebrews writer who states that the Lord entered into heaven itself (what the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle represented as a type, Hebrews 9:12,13). Do these passages contradict? Which place did Jesus' go?
When one studies the matter thoroughly, it is quite simple. He went to both places. A person just needs to understand the correct sequence of events. After Jesus died on the cross, His spirit went to the Hadean compartment known as "Paradise" (Luke 16:19-31; 22:42,43; Acts 2:25-28). When Jesus arose the third day (on the first day of the week), He came out of the Hadean world. He stayed on the earth with His disciples for about forty days (Acts 1:1-4). In Acts 1:9-11, there is the historical account of Jesus ascending into heaven. This is when He would fulfill Hebrews 9:12,13 in presenting His blood as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
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