Jesus' answer to the appeal of the penitent thief on the cross "gave him what he needed most—the assurance of rest and peace. The word 'paradise' meant to him repose and shelter, the greatest contrast possible to the thirst and agony and shame of the hours upon the cross." Paul speaks of degrees of heavenly-exaltation (II Cor. 12:3), and the religious teaching-of the Jews of that day taught this. The promise spoken by the Saviour, however we may interpret it, conveyed to the penitent the assurance that his future place would be one best fitted for him, and beyond this it is useless to speculate.