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The Three Crosses


Read Luke 23:26-56

Have you ever watched a loved one suffer in their last days and hours before death?  Perhaps you are a caregiver for a parent who is terminally ill.  It is never easy to see them go through pain, but you cherish every moment that you have with them.  When it comes their time to die, in a sense you are relieved they are now in peace, even though you will greatly miss them.

Words cannot express the excruciating torture and agony that Jesus went through on the cross for us.  The soldiers had continually beaten Him with a whip embedded with spikes that tore deep into His flesh.  He lost so much blood, that He was near death before being crucified.  He was forced to carry His own cross, until He could not go on.  Simon the Cyrene was then asked to carry the cross for Him.  I cannot even begin to imagine the extreme pain when they drove the nails into His hands and feet.

There is so much here in this passage, that I cannot possibly explain all the details.  But I want to focus on the two criminals crucified that day with Jesus, one on each side.  The first man hurled insults and rebuked Jesus to save Himself and them.  But the second man told the other criminal that they were getting the punishment they deserved, but Jesus had done nothing wrong.  He had a repentant heart and told Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”  Notice, that this second man first of all believed they were sinners and deserved to be punished.  But then he went on to believe Jesus was paying for their sin, but yet He did nothing wrong.  Finally, he asks to be with Jesus when He goes into His kingdom.  Jesus accepts his very simple statement of faith in Him.  This second man didn’t have time to clean up his act first before coming to Jesus, but he humbly admits his need for Jesus to save him.  

What about you?  Have you experienced Jesus’ free gift of salvation by coming to the foot of the cross?  If not, you can do so right now.  Just like this man, admit you are a sinner and believe Jesus paid the price for you and only He can save you.  Then, you too shall live with Jesus forever in heaven when you die.  Don’t be fooled in thinking that everyone will automatically go to heaven.  It is only those who believe in Jesus.  If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, I pray God will help you make that decision.  Be sure to check back in a couple days for the hope of Easter in the resurrection.  Until then, remember God loves you and reflect on His suffering for you on the cross.

Posted: April 5, 2007 

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