Yesterday I was thinking about the three crosses at Calvary-- one for Jesus, the other two for the malefactors who were hung on each side of Him. The three crosses are symbols and reminders to us.
They remind us of several things. They remind us that we are all "malefactors"-- evildoers, sinners. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." They remind us that there is none good except Jesus- the One in the middle. They remind us that whatever punishment we get, we deserve. They remind us that we are not innocent, even at our best. We have sinned against and transgressed the laws of God-- and probably the laws of man as well. Their death on the cross was punishment for their own sins. Jesus' death on the cross was punishment for the sins of all mankind-- not His own.
They remind us that not all who have the opportunity to hear the truth about salvation will accept-- some will, some won't. They remind us that we have to make our own choice concerning our eternity-- it is an individual choice made by each one individually. Jesus didn't make the choice for either of these men, they made it for themselves. He didn't force either one to accept Him, and He didn't push them away either. They remind us of the love and compassion of Jesus who hears the cries of the repentant heart. It reminds us that as long as we have breath in our bodies, it is not too late for Jesus to save us if we call out to Him. It reminds us that we are never "too bad" for Jesus to save.
The three crosses remind us that one day Jesus will do a separation among all people. This time He will stand in the middle (not hang in the middle) and separate the sheep from the goats, the righteous from the unrighteous. The sheep (those who like the thief who accepted Him) will be on His right side, and the goats (those who like the other thief who rejected Him) will be on His left side.
The three crosses remind us that one day those who accepted Him will be with Him forever in His Kingdom. We will live with Him in His Father's house forever. We will rule and reign with Him.
We have focused on the two crosses on each side, but the most important cross was the one in the middle. Without it there would be no hope, not opportunity to receive forgiveness. We would all be like the thief who rejected Jesus-- hopelessly lost forever. But because of the cross in the middle upon which Jesus hung we can have eternal life if we don't harden our heart like the one who mocked Jesus, but repent like the other did.
Which malefactor on the cross represents you-- the one who rejected Jesus, or the one who received Him as Savior and Lord?
Have a great day. There were three crosses at Calvary. Jesus was in the middle and two thieves on each side. Which thief represents you?
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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