Summary: A look at the responses of the 2 men who were crucified on each side of Jesus.
Resurrection Series: “Redeemed”
Three Crosses On Calvary’s Hill
The Cross is the symbol of the Christian faith.... we decorate our churches with it. ....our church logo has a cross on it. ...some people have a decal of a cross on their car...many wear a cross as jewelry. The cross is so prominent in daily life that we don’t even pay any attention to it. And in many cases we have forgotten what it represents. Years ago I heard a quartet named “Latter Rain” sing a song about that very fact:
“I had a cross in my pocket as a sign”
“A chain around my neck for all to see”
“But then I caught a glimpse of Calvary’s cruel tree”
“And now that cross means so much to me”
“There’s an Old Rugged Cross in my soul”
“And it’s been there since Jesus made me whole’
“If I had 10 million years to praise Him’
“I’d still fall short of the old rugged Cross”
I am not here today advocating or promoting removing the cross from our sanctuary but I do believe that we have so “glamorized the Cross” that we fail to realize the pain, agony and cruelty of the Cross where Jesus died.
George F. MacLeod said - "Jesus was crucified, not in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves"
The cross was a means of torture, humiliation and death. Today when men are executed in the USA the common method is lethal injection. In times past they used firing squads, electric chairs and a hangman’s noose. Yet none of these methods of execution come close to being as torturous as the horror of crucifixion. (we will see that in depth shortly)
As we arrive at Calvary, find that there were 3 Crosses on that Hill and 3 mean sentenced to death by the Roman Government.
i. There Was A Cross Of Rejection
ii. There Was A Cross Of Reception
iii. There Was A Cross of Redemption
The actions of the two men that were on either side of the Savior represent the actions and mindset of every person here today. You have rejected redemption through Jesus or you have received redemption through Jesus. I want to take some time and examine “The Three Crosses Of Calvary’s Hill”I would like to begin with the fact that:
I. ON CALVARY'S HILL, THERE WAS A CROSS OF REJECTION -v39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
This man “railed on Jesus” this means that he blasphemed Him. He was hurting and knew that death was imminent. He was not sorry or repentant of his sins, he was focused on his own issues. He says something very interesting to Jesus “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us”Obviously we see doubt in the phrase “If you are the Christ” But he says to Jesus …”If you are who you say you are, save yourself and us! “This man did not understand it but this is exactly what Jesus was doing! Jesus proclaimed on many occasions that this is why He came to the Earth: