One of the biggest blessings derived from reading scripture regularly is how God can take the “same ole story”, that I’ve heard “a thousand times”, and instantly allow me to see something I’ve never seen before. I truly feel my spirit leap with joy as fresh revelation drops.
Well, today I want to contemplate the scene at Calvary on crucifixion day. Specifically, let’s focus on the thieves. These guys have never really stood out to me until today, but I now believe they were very symbolic for the fate of ALL humanity! The Gospel of Luke reveals the imagery that dreadful and beautiful day:
“Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.””
Luke 23:32-33, 39-43 NLT
I believe the whole of humanity is adequately represented right here at Calvary. The entire history and future of mankind is embodied in this one moment in time. Here you have Christ, the savior, the Messiah, spun between the men that represented all of those He was sent to save. The men were both sinners, just like you and me, yet they represented two distinct camps that every human being in the world happens to belong:
There is the thief (sinner) on His left, that is sentenced to death for his sins, that refuses to believe that Jesus is who He’s says He is, the redeemer, the SON OF GOD. Then there is the thief (sinner) on His right, that is sentenced to death for his sins, and acknowledges his guilt before the Lord, acknowledges Jesus sinless nature and acknowledges in his heart Jesus’ sacrifice and His Lordship. By simply believing in the name of Jesus his eternal death sentence is anulled and that very day he walked with Jesus in paradise. Oh Blessings to the One who Comes in the Name of the Lord, Christ Jesus!
Friends, these three men weren’t there by happenstance! They didn’t just happen to be on His right and left with Jesus spanning the sea of sin between them! They didn’t just happen to have this commentary, for the whole world to see, in the last minutes of Jesus’ life! This was the sword of the Spirit cutting between bone and marrow, asking the question to all mankind, “Which thief represents your heart?” “Are you the sinner that believes in the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior of the world or the sinner the mocks the name of Jesus?” “Where do you stand today, friend?”
Rest assured my friends, just as the day of judgment came for the thieves and the unblemished Lamb of God, our day of judgement will come when we say, “Jesus, do you remember me?” The day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Today he’s asking you to believe in Him as Lord of your life and for you to step down from the throne and let Him take His rightful place on the throne of your heart. If you are prepared to make that decision then you too brother and sisters will have eternal communion with our Lord. Thank you Holy Spirit!
Be Blessed and Be Free!