In Luke’s narrative the encounter with the two thieves immediately precedes Jesus’ death so that his words to the second thief, promising to meet him that day in Paradise, are the last recorded words of the Savior to another human being during his earthly life. This final kindness, his message to the thief, represents the last thing Jesus has to say to his disciples on this earth. Luke’s gospel has now come full circle: When Jesus began his public ministry, his first sentence to the human race began with the word “Today” (Luke 4:21). On the cross, his final sentence to the human race begins with the word “Today.”
From The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon.