Summary: The cross offers the power of choice to each one. Just like the thieves who hung there, each made his choice.
Pictures of the Cross
Text: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
(Galatians 6:14, NKJV)
A. The cross, the place of choice
a. Hanging each on the other side of the main cross, was two crosses with teo thieves hanging on them.
b. Each thief had a choice to make - each thief made a choice – today both thieves live with the choices they had made.
b. The cross had always been about chice.- God’s choice to rescue you and your chiuce to choose to receive or choose not to
B. The power of choice
In the latter half of the 1800’s there was a small man with a huge voice who was a master of the stage. His name was Edwin Thomas. At age 15 he debuted in Richard III, and from then on he became well known as a premier Shakespearean actor. He performed Hamlet in New York for 100 consecutive nights. The British critics in London sang his praises. Edwin Thomas was a master of tragedy on stage.
Unfortunately, his life was all too similar to his stage persona. Tragedy was his trademark. Edwin had another brother who was also an actor. His name was John. In 1863 the two brothers performed Julius Caesar. The fact that brother John portrayed the role of Brutus, Caesar’s assassin, was an ironic twist that foreshadowed what would happen just 2 years later.
You see, in 1865, John became a real life assassin. On a crisp April night, he stole into a rear box in Ford’s Theater and fired a bullet at the head of Abraham Lincoln. Edwin Thomas and John Wilkes both shared the same last name, Booth.
After that night Edwin was never the same. Shame from his brother’s crime drove him to an early retirement. He likely would never have returned to the stage if it weren’t for a twist of fate in a New Jersey train station. Edwin was awaiting his coach when a well-dressed young man, pushed by the swell of the crowd, lost his footing and fell between the platform and a moving train. With little regard for his own personal well-being, Edwin locked a leg around a rail, grabbed the man and pulled him to safety. Amid the sighs of relief, the young man recognized the famous Edwin Booth. But Edwin didn’t recognize the famous young man he’d rescued. It was only weeks later, in a letter from the chief secretary to Ulysses S. Grant that he learned that He had saved the life of Robert Todd Lincoln, the child of an American hero, Abraham Lincoln. Booth carried that letter in his vest pocket to his grave.
Isn’t it ironic! Edwin Thomas and John Wilkes Booth. One killed the president, the other saved the president’s son. Same father, mother, profession and passion-yet one chooses to give death, the other to give life. How could it happen? I don’t know exactly, but I can offer at least a broad overview. It wasn’t only one choice that made the difference, but a series of choices, a pattern and direction for each of their lives that determined how they would turn out. For everything they had in common, the one thing that marked their differences was the path they chose to take with their life. It was the difference between life and death.