“One thief was saved that no sinner might despair, but only one, that no sinner might presume.” (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke, p. 471).
“Not the unconfident word of a crucified malefactor, but the confident statement, the absolutely binding promise, of the Messiah is conclusive evidence for us that this corrupt son of Abraham was the object of the favor of grace. Christ accepts him. . . . He [the thief] surrendered himself. To whom? To Christ. By what means? By the hearing of the preached word. Small bits of the revelation of Christ Jesus had fallen into his ‘heart.’ Was it not a beautiful thing that he joined himself with the very last things which he himself heard and saw in Jesus?” (K. Schilder, Christ Crucified, pages 320–321).
“That which is striking about Jesus’ pronouncement is, in the first place, the absolute power and authority with which he bestows the partaking of the heavenly glory, and in the second place, the expression, ‘with me.’ It is the communion with Jesus, whom the malefactor confessed openly as the Christ, which guarantees salvation to him immediately after death.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, pp. 276-277).
Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church