Summary: The men on the three crosses at calvary were all there because of the choices they made.
Living and Dying With the Choices That We Make
Intro: Life is full of choices. Once upon a time there was a court jester who had served the Caliph at Baghdad and his court, keeping them amused whenever they called on him. One day in a moment of thoughtlessness, he offended the Caliph. For his mistake the Caliph ordered that he be put to death. "However," said the ruler, "in consideration of your many years of service, I will let you decide how you will die." "Well," replied the jester, "if it’s all the same to you, O most gracious Caliph, I choose death by old age."
. A few years back, George Jones the country singer came out with a song that reflected on his life. The title of the song was “living and dying with the choices that I’ve made”
. The first verse says this: I've had choices since the day that I was born
There were voices that told me right from wrong
If I had listened, no I wouldn't be here today
Living and dying with the choices I've made
. We all must live and yes die with the choices that we make in life.
. Now while some of these choices may lead to death, we usually don’t get to choose how we die, but we do get to choose how we live. We are the sum total of the choices that we make in our lives.
. Hour after hour, day after day, you make choices, big ones, little ones, tough ones, easy ones, liberating ones, confining ones, selfish ones, selfless ones. At the end of the day, you add up those choices and This Is Your Life, as the old tv show put it.
. God gives us these choices. Look at what he told the Jewish nation as they were in the wilderness in Deut.30:19_20
. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between dblessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!20You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.
.God has always given us choices.
. Adam and eve had a choice in the Garden when they chose to disobey God.
. From the beginning of creation, God has given us the choice of choosing Him.
. As Easter approaches and we prepare to celebrate the greatest event that has ever happened in the history of mankind, we are going to spend some time over the next few weeks looking at what happened on the hill called Golgotha. The place of the skull.
. On this Hill there were three crosses erected.
. One was the cross of our savior Jesus Christ.
. This cross is essential for those who claim a relationship with Jesus Christ; for it was on this cross of Calvary that Jesus voluntarily gave His life for all who will accept this sacrifice for their sins.
. I have heard many preachers refer to this cross as the cross of redemption.
. The other two crosses have been referred to as the cross of rebellion and the cross of repentance.
. All three of these crosses are named because of the choices that were made by those who died on them.
. Lets read our scripture
. Luke 23:32-43: Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him.33When 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.
34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
35The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”36The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.37They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”38A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39One 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!”
40But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?41We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in fparadise.”
.The first cross we see here is the cross of rebellion.