Three Crosses – Part One

One curtain was torn; one Savior died; three crosses were used.

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John 19:17-18 – And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:  Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

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When Jesus was crucified, He was not crucified alone.  The Scriptures tell us that two others, malefactors, were crucified with Him, and this act fulfilled the prophecy that He was numbered with the transgressors.  Today I write about one of those crosses.  I don’t know if it was the cross to the right or the left of Jesus.  I can’t find that distinction in the Scriptures.  But we DO know Jesus was crucified with two other men on that fateful day.

What do we know about that cross and the man on it?  The one we examine today, like the other with him, was called a malefactor.  That words, malefactor, has nothing to do with gender, but with his connection to committing evil acts – he was a doer of bad, or “mal” things.  What he did, we do not know, but we DO know he was a sinner.  While I am personally aware of people coming to what they knew would be the end of their life, and on what might say was their death bed they truly made a “last-minute” repentance, and accepted Jesus as their Lord, I am also aware that a greater number of people who come to that place do in their final moments what they have trained and prepared themselves to do repeatedly over the years.  They reject their final opportunity to be saved.  And that is precisely what happened to the man on the cross we look at today.

From the account in the four Gospels, we know this man knew about Jesus.  He had heard about who Jesus was.  He had heard of the signs, wonders, miracles, and healings He had performed.   Yet when confronted with an opportunity to receive divine mercy, he opted for an attempt of self-justification calling on Jesus to save him and his companion while saving Himself.  His life was all about him and no one else.  His life was all about now and his failures of the past, and considered NOTHING of eternity and what someone else could do for him.  In his self-absorption, he failed to see the truth, accept the truth, and believe the truth.  Remember, the Scriptures declare that Jesus had the power to give life to anyone who believed on Him.  This man did not have to work for it, pay a price for it, or find some other way to attain to it.  All he had to do was believe.  But he had refused to believe for so long, and so frequently with every decision in life he made, that he had trained himself to NOT believe.  You face the same choice.  Believing is a choice.  Make the right choice today and every day and believe.  There is divine power for everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God to become a son of God.  Believe, my friend, believe. 

Manna for Today – John 19:16-27; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27-28; Luke 23:32-43; John 1:1-14

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No King But….

Those who would have NO king have, in fact, become king.  Beware the sword of Damocles.

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John 19:15 – But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

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On the brow of every human being there sits a crown of responsibility for the decisions and choices they make in this life.  Each one of us will give an account to the Lord for everything we do, even to the point of accounting for every idle word we speak.  Only the blood of Jesus has the capacity to wash away any sin for which we would otherwise stand accountable before God.  Thank God for the blood of Jesus!

Still, each of us wears a crown of ultimate accountability for the place in which we stand, the role we play, the actions we take, the decisions we make, the words we say.  ONLY Jesus has the capacity to stand before our Holy God as the spotless Lamb of God, the Redeemer of all who call on His Name, Healer, Deliverer, King of kings, and Lord of lords.  ONLY Jesus!

A key problem arises for any person who will declare any other as king other than Jesus.  No one else throughout the history of mankind, or encompassing the future of mankind, can even begin to approach the qualifications necessary for such a person, other than Jesus.  Jesus alone is the “first begotten from the dead.  He alone died for the redemption of man.  No other deity named by man bears, or claims to bear, the scars for the failure of humanity that belong to humanity, except Jesus.  No other person COULD even begin to carry the sin, sickness, poverty, captivity, and torment of humanity; only Jesus.  And as one songwriter wrote it, “Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.”

But when the crowd that called for the crucifixion of Jesus said, “We have no king but Caesar,” they were laying all that weight of responsibility upon the shoulders of Caesar.  And because their thinking, action, and choice was so flawed, all that weight of responsibility ultimately fell back upon themselves, for in their declaration that Caesar was their king, they were declaring that they knew more than God, that they were wiser than God, and that, in fact, they were greater than God.  How foolish can one be?

My dear fellow believer, it is time for the church to boldly declare to the world about it in this critical hour of time, “We have no king but Jesus!”  He IS our King.  He IS King of kings and Lord of Lords.  He IS our Redeemer, Savior, Healer, Deliverer, Keeper, and Provider.  ONLY JESUS!  To God be the glory! 

Manna for Today – John 19:1-15; Exodus 20:3; Matthew 12:35-37

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