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“Which Side of the Cross Are You On?”

(51)

Sermon shared by Keith Foskey

March 2005
Summary: This morning we are going to talk about the two men who were crucified along side of Jesus.
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
“Which Side of the Cross Are You On?”
Luke 23:32-33

OPENING JOKE: Can’t Take That Chance
During a holiday to Israel, a man’s mother-in-law died. She was in Israel with the family, so there was the difficulty of making funeral arrangements for her in a foreign country. The Israeli morgue explained that the body can be sent back to Australia, at a cost of $10,000, or she can be buried in an Israeli cemetery for just $200. The son-in-law quickly decides to have his mother-in-law shopped home. "yes sir, but are you sure?" asks the morgue official. "It is very expensive". "I know" says the son-in-law. "But 2000 years ago they buried a guy here and three days later he rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance!"

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to ‘Resurrection Sunday’ morning service

This morning we are going to talk about the two men who were crucified along side of Jesus. We are going to talk about
- What they did to get put on the cross
- What they said while they were on the cross
- What happened to their souls after they died on the cross.

These men had received the death penalty for breaking man’s law
- Both of these men were condemned to death because the Scripture says they were ‘robbers’
- Ordinary thieves were not usually crucified
- The word ‘robbers’ actually denotes a ‘rebel and brigand (thug) who plunders as he steals’ (J. Macarthur)
- These men were probably the cohorts of Barabbas, who is called a ‘notorious’ criminal (Matthew 27: 16)

Quote: They hung on their crosses, convicted of a crime they had committed, and received the penalty from the law that they had incurred

***This morning I want us to study the minds of these two men and to meditate on what was going on in their heads as they inched closer toward the horrible death of suffocation and asphyxiation that the cross brings.

And I want us to relate their experience to our own in this life, asking ourselves, “Which side of the cross am I on?”

I. They Both Started the Day in the Same Condition
a. In the beginning they both rejected Christ
i. Matthew 27: 44 “Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him....”
ii. Their legal condemnation of death on the cross caused their already rebellious hearts to become even more enraged
1. Mark 15:25 tells us that the crucifixion started at about the 3rd hour, or around 9:00 am
2. At this point both men were ‘reviling’ Jesus which means they were ‘insulting and berating’ Him
iii. Likewise, before coming to Christ, we all were in a state of rebellion
iv. The Bible says that we rebel so much against the Gospel that if God did not put it in our hearts the desire for Christ, we would never even seek Him
v. John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
1. Look at the wording there, it doesn’t say, ‘no man WILL come’ it says that ‘no man CAN come’
2. Our rebellious nature toward God is so powerful that we could not come to Jesus unless God draws us in
vi. Quote: At some point we have all been right where these men were: Face to face with Jesus rejecting Him as Lord
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But then a miracle happened…One of the men changed
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II. They Became Separated Because of Their Convictions
a. The Gospel of Luke tells us that before the 6th hour something
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