Summary: The Bible tells us that there were two thieves who died with Him that day, however their eternal souls went in totally different directions as one rebelled against the Savior in the middle, and the other received the Savior into His heart. Three crosses
THE GREAT DIVIDE AT CALVARY
There is a signpost high up in the Canadian Rockies. The board says, "The Great Divide". It’s the source of two great river systems, one flowing west into the Pacific Ocean, and the other into the Atlantic. Two raindrops can fall side by side, but will flow in opposite directions, never to meet again. How we need to think long and deep on the issues which have an eternal consequence.
2000 years ago on a hill called Golgotha a great divide was raised to the sky in the person of Jesus Christ who hung on that Old Rugged Cross.
The Bible tells us that there were two thieves who died with Him that day, however their eternal souls went in totally different directions as one rebelled against the Savior in the middle, and the other received the Savior into His heart.
Three crosses with three stories to tell to mankind, and two destinies for the eternal soul.
As we know, the cross was the most shameful of deaths of that day, and stood as a monument to the justice the Romans were so adept in meting out to the people.
Not only did the crosses serve as a way to painfully punish the criminals of that day, but it also served as a deterrent to future crimes that someone might be pondering about committing.
It was a horrible death, with the agonized bodies of the victims sagging on pierced hands and feet, the raging thirst that tortured them in the dust and heat, under the gaze of passers by. Three men, three crosses, the same death for all three, but how different they were.
That statement sounds good to us today, but in that day if someone were to mention it, people would look at them as if they were crazy.
It is like saying something is so cold it’s hot, or if we were to call the local pizza house, and ask for a vegetarian meat lover’s pizza.
But here He was. The crucified savior of the world dying for the sins of mankind.
Here at this Great Divide would be Three Crosses...
First of all today we are going to look at:
I. THE CROSS OF REJECTION
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
While hanging there before the jeering crowd feeling the pain of not only physical abuse, but also of the rejection of those at his feet one of the criminals looked with spite and hatred at Jesus, and began to hurl insults at Him, challenging Christ to get off the cross and save all of them.
Even knowing that he was about to go into Eternity in a few hours, all he could do was spit out venom of hatred and bitterness to anyone and everyone around him.
Imagine that, with the Savior of the world right beside Him, this man was going to go to an eternal hell never to receive another chance to escape.
So often we might get down about people we are unable to get through to when we share the Gospel, and become frustrated believing that somehow we are failing God.
We often hear the statement, “you can’t save the world”, and the very fact that so many rejected Christ while here on this earth, and even one criminal facing eternity rejected Him proves that we must do what we can, and leave the results with God.
Here was Jesus, the greatest person that ever lived, who was all God, and all man, yet while he was in pain was praying for his tormenters, and caring for His mother. And here was the thief that saw all of this, and the perfection of the Savior, then looked at his own pitiful life, and instead of reaching out to Christ, hated him even more.
There was a commercial that used to be on for shampoo or something, and the lady had a statement that said, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”
There is a lot of truth to that statement when it comes to looking at Christ. While He was not much to look at right now after being beat up, spit upon and reviled, there was a beauty about His inner life, and who He was that was very evident in His living, and His dying!
The thief looked, saw the righteousness, and seemed to hate Christ more, as he hurled insults between the pain.
I believe today that many in the world are hurling insults at the Savior, and have no idea that the word of God says that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that is the judgement.
His was a cross of Rejection. His own comrade said that their condemnation was fully deserved, but the rebel wouldn’t learn even with one foot in the grave.