Troparion of Holy and Great Friday: When the thief beheld the Author of Life hanging upon the cross, he said: “If it were not God in the flesh crucified here with us, the sun would not have hidden his rays nor would the earth have quaked and trembled, but remember me in Thy kingdom, O long-suffering Lord!”
When the Robber saw the Author of Life hanging on the Cross, he said, “If He Who is Crucified with us were not God Incarnate, the sun would not have hid its rays, nor would the Earth have quaked and trembled. I Pray You Who endure everything, remember me, O Lord, in Your Kingdom.
O Lord, having taken as Your fellow-traveler the thief whose hands were defiled with blood, we ask you to number us with him, as a Good and Loving Lord.
The thief upon the cross spoke in a low tone, but found great faith. In an instant he was saved, and being the first to open the Gates of Paradise, he entered. O Lord, Who accepted his repentance, Glory to You.
The thief opened the locked gates of Eden with the key, “Remember me.”
The Most High planted in the middle of Paradise the Thrice Blessed Wood, the Gift of Life for us, in order that, in approaching it, Adam might find Eternal and Immortal Life. But he did not strive earnestly to know this Life, and he failed to attain it, and revealed death. However, the robber, seeing how the plant in Eden had been beautifully transplanted in Golgotha, recognised the Life in it and said to himself: “This is what my father lost formerly in Paradise.” – by Saint Romanos the Melodist
With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.”
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
While travelling to Egypt, Saint Joseph and Our Most Holy Mother of God passed through an area that was infested with robbers. Two robbers named Dismas and Gestas came across to Our Most Holy Mother of God to see what she was holding so closely to her. When Dismas saw the beauty of Baby Christ, he remarked “If God were to take human flesh, He would not be more beautiful than this Child!” Dismas then gave money and his belt to his fellow robber, beseeching him let them pass by in peace. Our Most Holy Mother of God said to Dismas with gratitude “My Child will reward thee richly for having spared Him this day. The Lord God will receive thee to His right hand and grant thee pardon of thy sins.” Thirty three years later, at the Crucifixion of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, it was these two thieves who were crucified on either side of Christ. And that day Dismas the thief became Saint Dismas the first person to enter Paradise with Christ.