Yes, on the day of his death.
41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:41-43  NASB


No, he remained on earth until his Ascension.
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”
John 20:16-17  NASB


SAB Contradiction 465


Where was Jesus after his crucifixion and before his Ascension into heaven? Isn’t it a contradiction that long before the Ascension He said to a murderer being crucified next to Him: “Today, you shall be with Me in Paradise.”?


In the hands of God
It is not as difficult as it seems. Just before Jesus died, He laid his spirit in the hands of God (Luke 23:46). His body was dead and was buried, but his spirit remained alive in heaven. This is the blessing for all who die in the Lord: the heritage of heaven after death.


Three days later
Jesus arose, his body came to life again. Certainly his spirit returned into his body. This all happened in the setting of angels who were present near the tomb. It is generally taken that Jesus left the tomb to do his morning prayers, the angels remaining with Him. He did not go to heaven immediately. When the women were in great despair as they didn’t find the body, the angels were sent to them to announce to them the resurrection. Shortly thereafter Jesus met the women.


40 days
Where was Jesus when the women went to the disciples? There is no directly mentioning of it in the Gospels, but with the angels He would have returned into heaven, from where he appeared to his disciples during a period of 40 days to talk with them about the Kingdom (Acts 1:3). That time He certainly remained in the spiritual world of God (heaven) as He entered places on earth where doors were locked (John 20:26).


At the end of the 40 days the Ascension came. Jesus, being the Messiah, took his place besides his heavenly Father on the throne in heaven. This was not an entering in heaven after death. This was much more, He was given the place from where He was to take the reign of His Kingdom on earth.


And yes, ten days after the Ascension, on Pentecost He poured out his Spirit (Acts 2). This old feast (iom tov, Sjawoeoth) reminded the people of the receiving of the Ten Commandments on Horeb. That God had spoken to his people from the mountain where all could hear it. With Pentecost there were many different languages spoken to those who were present. Again God spoke for all. They didn’t hear a law now but praise to God by the Holy Spirit as the law was fulfilled by the Messiah Himself. On Horeb God had spoken out of a fire and under thunders. With Pentecost the people came into the light of God and under a rushing wind of the Spirit. These were the clear signs that something magnificent had occurred, the new era of the reign of the Messiah had begun. (Compare Hebrews 12:18-29.)   


And so
It may be interesting for the critic to notice that many things happened between Jesus’ death and Ascension and Pentecost. Let the critic read the rich information about this period and any seeming contradiction will disappear as snow under the heat of the sun.

No Bible Contradiction