Summary: This message illustrates the disposition of all men in relationship to the Savior...
“THREE DIFFERENT MEN ON THREE DIFFERENT CROSSES”
TEXT: Luke 23:32-46 Pastor W. Max Alderman
32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
INTRODUCTION: Many sermons have been preached as the preacher examined the crosses and the men who were on the crosses. Even though this is so, may God grant us fresh insight as we look at “THREE DIFFERENT MEN ON THREE DIFFERENT CROSSES”.
I. The MAN WHO CHOSE TO REMAIN GUILTY (he was on the cross where he rejected salvation) (V. 39)
A. This Man Had Arguments That Were Flawed (all arguments are)
The unrepentant thief probably used as his argument: “I don’t really deserve to be on this cross…” Such an argument is flawed as are the following arguments.
1. The PROCRATINATION ARGUMENT “I have plenty of time”.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)
2. The PRIDE ARGUMENT “I don’t want people laughing at me”.
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)
Hell will be greatly populated by those who worried about what people would have thought about them had they been saved. Sadly, in hell it really will no longer matter what people think. You will have waited too late to do anything about it.
3. The “PLEASURES OF SIN” argument : “I will not have any fun, if I get saved”.
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
4. The PROSPERITY ARGUMENT: “I may have to give up something that I like, if I get saved”
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:16-17)
B. This Man Had Actions That Were Foolish
1. He reasoned against his only hope…
“if thou be Christ, save thyself and us” You must not question whether He is able… “He is able to deliver thee.”
2. He rejected His only help…
No action is the worst action…
This thief could have acted upon the Truth that he heard, but sadly and proudly he chose hell instead.
C. This Man Had an Answer That Was Fatal
(Obviously his answer to salvation was “no”)
II. THE MAN WHO CHOSE TO RECEIVE GRACE (he was on the
cross where he received salvation) (Vv. 40-42)
A. He Was Placed On the Cross with Wicked Guilt
Romans 3:23 reminds us: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
B. He Was Taken Down From the Cross in Wonderful Glory