In this particular scripture, we see that Jesus saved this thief instantly while dying on the cross. Jesus came into the world to identify with the sinner. Many times when we think about the cross we know that it was important. Just as the cross was important, the communion service is just as important. One can’t commune with God while having sin in their hearts.
God still today stands with His arms open wide asking for people to come unto Him. At the cross, we can see 2 different people, one boastful and arrogant while the other was very sorrowful. Nothing has changed in this world as we have some that are lost, boastful, and full of self-pride. Others are lost yet are very sorrowful and ashamed of their sins. Those are the ones that seek after God and His forgiveness.
Jesus never spoke to either thief while hanging on the cross. The thief spoke out first and then Jesus with love told the thief that he would be with Him in Heaven. He wasn’t speaking to the thief about something He didn’t know about, He knew where he was going cause He had been there before. Jesus accepts the lost for what they are and changes them.
One can’t be saved by their works because our works even the best we can do are like filthy rags compared to Christ. If you “think” or “working towards” being saved, then you’re lost. You are either lost or saved, there is no in the middle. When you get saved it’s an instantaneous thing that happens and you immediately know it.