The one thief joined in the mockery with cutting scorn born of his own desperate plight. "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" Luke tells us that he "railed" against Jesus. ... In his dying he turned, and it seems he turned definitively, against the light.
Not so with the other one. The other thief rebuked the first, we are told. "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." Painfully twisting his neck, he looked toward Jesus. "Jesus," he said, "remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise." In his dying, the second thief turned toward the light.