Three hung on a cross on an early spring morning in the month of April, AD 33
Jesus in the center of it all, severely punished for no crime, in excruciating pain and suffering was mounted between two others that committed crimes, maybe they were wondering why he was there, though their suffering could not compare to what they put Jesus through, as the day lingered slowly, hung on the crosses we can only imagine the thoughts and words that were being said. But as scripture says we read, on the cross the thieves were insulting Jesus.
Matthew 27:44 says:
In the same way, the insurgents who were crucified with him were also insulting him.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But as these men turned away from God and committed their crimes, sealed their punishment, penalty was death for what they chose to freely and willingly do.
Now Jesus, freely and willingly came into the world not to save our worldly lives but our eternal lives, through His great love for us, he went to the cross for that very reason.
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Of course what they were experiencing, a criminals death was subject to change that day, as one confronted Jesus as Lord to save them, the other wanted Jesus to remember him, both acknowledging Him as God.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Through His pain, Jesus loves the thieves he is not dying for himself but for the sins they did, He never held His love back even through his own suffering, Jesus shows selfless compassion.
Luke 23: 43
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Even through Jesus own pain and suffering, facing death, forgave the ones that didn’t know what they were doing or saying to him.
How often have we turned away from Jesus because he wasn’t saving us from a situation we stepped into?
Maybe there was something we could have avoided or something that came up and we prayed for an answer only to feel unheard.
Is there un-forgiveness that is still lingering that needs to be nailed to the cross?
Our situations are not just for learning a lesson, but also to grow us and teach us to walk in humbleness with Christ, to yearn to want to be like him and to let him shape us.
Nothing is hidden from God, nor will any of your plans, dreams, hopes or failures.
But in surrendering our lives to Jesus, we will see that His plan is better than ours, His way is better, a self focused life is a dead end, but a life surrendered to Jesus is an amazing journey.
As we see Jesus was obedient to the cross, victory over death, and saving you because of His love for you, you never walk alone, He sends his gift of the Holy Spirit.
Even the sinful thieves acknowledged Jesus and didn’t die without him.
Glory to the High King, Jesus
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