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Where Is The Paradise That Jesus Spoke Of?

The concept of paradise has captivated the human imagination for centuries. It conjures up visions of a perfect, idyllic place where there is no suffering or pain. In the Bible, Jesus made several references to paradise, so for Christians, understanding where this paradise is that Jesus spoke of is an important question.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: According to most Christian interpretations, the paradise Jesus referred to is heaven or the presence of God that righteous souls will enter after death or at the end times.

In this article, we will examine the biblical references Jesus made to paradise and explore the different Christian perspectives on where this paradise is located and what it represents. We will look at themes like the afterlife, salvation, and the kingdom of God.

With insight from theology experts, we will analyze what Jesus meant when He spoke of paradise and the implications for Christian teaching today.

Defining Paradise in the Bible

The Garden of Eden as Original Paradise

The Garden of Eden is portrayed in Genesis chapters 2-3 as the original paradise and dwelling place of Adam and Eve before the fall. It was a lush garden abounding with vegetation, wildlife, and beauty, and had rivers flowing from it to water the rest of the world.

God “planted a garden eastward in Eden” and placed Adam there to work it and guard it (Gen. 2:8,15). This paradise included the tree of life and tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9). After Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, God banished them from the Garden to prevent access to the tree of life, at which point paradise was lost (Gen. 3:22-24).

Paradise in Judaism and the Intertestamental Period

In later Old Testament times, paradise came to signify restored fellowship with God. Isaiah 51:3 recalls God’s blessing at the exodus from Egypt as making “her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD.” Ezekiel 28:13 describes the Garden of Eden as “the garden of God.”

In some apocryphal and pseudepigraphal Jewish writings during the intertestamental period, paradise was sometimes seen as the abode of the righteous dead in Sheol (1 Enoch 60:8, 23-25; 2 Esdras 7:36).

The later rabbinical tradition located the Garden of Eden and four rivers at the headwaters of the Euphrates. Some placed paradise in heaven, while others saw it as on earth but sealed off and inaccessible.

New Testament References to Paradise

The New Testament retains the sense of paradise as an abode of surpassing delight, specifically referring to the presence of God. In 2 Corinthians 12:4 it is the place in the “third heaven” where Paul has a vision. Revelation 2:7 promises access to “the paradise of God” for those who overcome.

Most famously, Luke 23:43 has Jesus tell the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” This seems to suggest that after death, believers’ souls go to be with Christ in the presence of God, to await the future resurrection.

Jesus’ References to Paradise

Paradise in Luke’s Gospel

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus refers to paradise when he is being crucified alongside two criminals. One of the criminals asks Jesus to remember him when Jesus comes into his kingdom. Jesus replies, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

This passage indicates that paradise is where righteous people go when they die. Jesus told the criminal that he would be with Jesus in paradise that very day, promising him entrance into the eternal kingdom.

Many scholars believe this paradise refers to heaven. In the early church, paradise was sometimes used interchangeably with heaven. Paradise represented a place of blessing and reward for the righteous.

When Jesus told the criminal they would be together in paradise, he was promising that the man would join him in heaven after death.

Paradise in Revelation

The Book of Revelation also contains a reference to paradise. In Revelation 2:7, Jesus tells the church in Ephesus, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” This paradise is again symbolic of heaven.

Eating from the tree of life represents eternal life with God.

Some key things to note about this paradise:

  • It contains the tree of life, which is symbolic of eternal life, healing, and blessing.
  • It is explicitly referred to as the paradise “of God,” indicating it is a heavenly or divine paradise.
  • Only those who are victorious in faith will be able to enter this paradise.

So in both Luke’s gospel and Revelation, paradise refers to the blessing and joy of heaven. It represents life, restoration, and intimate fellowship with God in the eternal kingdom. The paradise Christ promises is for all those who put their faith in Him.

Christian Perspectives on the Location of Paradise

Paradise as Heaven

Many Christians believe that paradise refers to heaven, the dwelling place of God and the angels. This view sees paradise as a place of perfect communion with God that transcends the material world. Scriptural support for this idea comes from passages like Luke 23:43 where Jesus tells the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Interpreting this as heaven aligns with the belief that the spirits of the righteous dead go directly into God’s presence after death.

Those who hold this perspective emphasize paradise as a spiritual reality rather than a physical place. The joys of paradise are spiritual – being with Christ, worshipping God, and experiencing divine love.

While some envision paradise as having physical attributes like streets of gold, the essence is spiritual communion with the divine. This paradise is outside normal space and time – an eternal, transcendent state entered after death.

Paradise as a Temporary Abode for Righteous Souls

Some Christians regard paradise as a temporary dwelling place for righteous souls before final judgment. In this interim paradise, the spirits of the righteous dead experience a foretaste of their eternal destiny in heaven.

Scriptural support comes from Jesus’ statement to the thief that “today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43) implying an immediate entry into paradise rather than heaven.

In this view, paradise is distinguished from final heaven. It functions as a transitional phase where righteous souls await resurrection and final judgment. Their joyful fellowship with Christ in paradise anticipates their entry into heaven after He returns.

This perspective fits with a multi-stage eschatology where departed souls experience a provisional state before their ultimate destiny.

Paradise as an Intermediate State

Some regard paradise as an intermediate state short of final glorification in heaven. In this view, paradise is where righteous souls go after death to await their resurrection when Christ returns. Their condition in paradise is blessed, though lesser than the ultimate glorification of resurrected souls.

Support comes from Paul’s statement of a man (presumably himself) caught up to paradise and hearing inexpressible things (2 Cor 12:4).

This perspective distinguishes paradise from the final state of new heavens and new earth. Departed believers experience rest and comfort in paradise until reunited with their resurrected bodies. Christ’s full salvation will only be realized after He returns and ushers final judgment and the renewal of all things.

Paradise is thus an intermediate phase between earthly life and eternal glorification.

Paradise as a Restored Eden

Some Christians identify paradise with a restored Eden on the new earth. This perspective associates paradise with the tree of life and river in Eden according to Genesis 2-3. Scriptural support comes from Revelation 2:7 promising, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

In this view, God will restore paradise lost at the fall. Whereas Eden was lost through human sin, the new paradise will be entered through redemption in Christ. Paradise will feature a renewed, glorified Eden centered around intimacy with God and unhindered access to the tree of life.

This paradise is not just spiritual, but includes physical aspects on the renewed earth restored to God’s original design.

The Nature of Paradise

A Place of Perfection and Holiness

The Bible describes paradise as a perfect place, free from sin, suffering and death. It is a holy realm where God’s presence dwells in all its glory (Revelation 21:23). There will be no more tears, pain or sorrow there (Revelation 21:4). Everything in paradise will be pure, righteous and holy.

The perfection and holiness of paradise sets it apart from our current fallen world.

A Place of Beauty and Abundance

Paradise is portrayed as a place of incredible natural beauty and abundance. Crystalline rivers flow through lush gardens filled with vibrant trees and flowers that never fade (Revelation 22:1-2). The streets are made of pure gold (Revelation 21:21). Precious gems and minerals abound.

Paradise is a place of astounding beauty that far surpasses anything we have seen on earth. It is a realm of incredible bounty and provision where no good thing will be lacking.

A Place of Joy and Rest

Paradise will resound with joy, gladness and praise to God (Revelation 19:1-8). There will be an atmosphere of celebration, rejoicing and fellowship with God and fellow believers. It will be a place of true peace, comfort and rest from earthly troubles and burdens.

No sorrow, pain, suffering or death can enter paradise (Revelation 21:4). We will rest in God’s presence, free from all anxiety and weariness. What an amazing prospect – to dwell eternally in a place of supreme joy, comfort and refreshment!

Paradise as a Central Eschatological Hope

Salvation and Entrance into Paradise

Christianity has long held the promise of salvation leading to an afterlife in Paradise as a core hope and motivation for followers of Jesus. Paradise represents the fulfillment of being in God’s presence and the restoration of an ideal state as originally intended by God (GotQuestions.org).

Entrance into Paradise is made possible by accepting Jesus’ offer of salvation by grace through faith, not by human efforts or works (Christianity.com).

The repentant criminal crucified next to Jesus gives us a model for how salvation leads to Paradise. In his last moments, the criminal repented and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus assured him that on that very day he would enter Paradise with Jesus (Luke 23:42-43).

This demonstrates that it is never too late for someone to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus.

Paradise as the Fulfillment of God’s Kingdom

As the final state of salvation, Paradise represents the full establishment of God’s Kingdom and authority across a renewed creation. Descriptions of Paradise involve a restoration of Eden-like conditions, without curse or sin (CompellingTruth.org).

Revelation 21-22 give vivid imagery of Paradise involving access to the tree of life, the river of life, and the very presence of God from his throne.

Paradise is sometimes differentiated from Heaven theologically, with Paradise representing an intermediate state prior to bodily resurrection. Other views see Paradise as synonymous with the final Heavenly state.

Either way, Paradise represents the epitome of salvation’s blessings for eternity (GotQuestions.org).

Implications for How Christians Live Today

Belief in Paradise as the hope of salvation should profoundly shape a Christian’s values and lifestyle. Setting one’s mind and vision on Paradise leads to an eternal perspective that understands life’s trials as temporary and insignificant compared to knowing Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

It motivates enduring faithfulness, not being weary in doing good (Hebrews 12:3; Galatians 6:9).

Living in light of Paradise means joyfully trusting God’s plan above the world’s promises or threats. Present sufferings and weaknesses provide opportunity for God’s strength and comfort to be magnified (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Paradise is a living hope sustaining Christians until receiving final salvation (1 Peter 1:3-5). This unshakable hope frees Christians to live courageously and generously out of gratitude to God.


Throughout His ministry, Jesus made tantalizing references to a place called paradise, capturing the imagination of His followers. While interpretations differ on the exact location and nature of this paradise, most agree it represents the perfection of God’s presence that awaits the righteous.

By examining Jesus’ words on paradise in the larger biblical and theological context, we gain insight into central Christian hopes about the afterlife and future fulfillment of God’s purposes. While its location remains a mystery, paradise stands as a symbol of the hope, restoration, and joy that Jesus promises to those who follow Him.

Though an ancient concept, paradise remains relevant today as a reminder that this world is not all there is. Jesus’ teachings on paradise can inspire Christians to live for eternal purposes rather than temporary pleasures.

With perseverance and faith, believers can trust they are journeying toward that heavenly kingdom where God will wipe away every tear and make all things new.

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