Two Sides of the Savior
27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28 So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with the transgressors." NKJV
When Jesus was nailed to the cross He was not to die alone. Two others, notable criminals were to die that day with Him. We can only conjecture why it was determined so by the Romans. It could be that Jesus had simply taken Barabbas' spot on that center cross. It could have been already scheduled and Jesus simply was filled in when Barabbas was allowed to go free.
Some have thought that the leaders arranged it so as to demonstrate that Jesus was also a criminal as were the others. That Him dying there among others who deserved to die, would be a testimony to His own guilt.
Mark tells us though that God had a part in it all. Quoting from Isaiah 53:12 he shows that this was foretold long ago. But there is no doubt another explanation. Here in Jesus final hours the difference that He would make for centuries to come, is here, on those two other crosses, clearly seen as the final hours are played out.
All the gospel writers tell us of the other two. And they also mention that among all the derision that Jesus was to endure some would come from the crosses on either side of him. We do not know if they thieves were sincere in their pleas for rescue if Jesus should really happen to be the Son of God.
But somewhere in all that took place one of the thieves changed his line. Some how in someway he was changed while the other thief was not. Both thieves one on either side of Jesus but what a difference there is in the end. We see then there are two sides of the Savior. And which side we are on makes all the difference in eternity.
- There seems to be no difference from one side to the other.
- Both saw the same things.
- Both were guilty of the same crime.
- Both were condemned to the same fate, crucifixion
- Both reviled Jesus at the beginning.
- On the basis of what they heard and saw we would not really expect them to believe on Jesus
- Here is a man condemned to die.
- Here is a man totally controlled by others who would finally do the worst they could do.
- Here was a man who hardly looked like a man, much less a king, and never the Son of God.
- They both saw Him at His weakest point.
- They both knew that there was really no hope for Him or for them.
- But as a perfect symbol of what Jesus has done and been for the last 2000 years He stood between the condemned and the free.
- One thief has a change of heart.
- He becomes very conscious of His own sin.
- He becomes convinced of Jesus innocence.
- He confesses the same.
- We are justly condemned.
- This man has done nothing deserving of His punishment.
- He then takes the final step and places his trust in the man dying on the center cross.
- Remember me
- When you come into your kingdom.
- How impossible that sounds.
- How great a faith
- but still he had read the inscription above Jesus
- There is no indication that the other thief ever made a change.
- Jesus assures the man's faith, weak though it be.
- The thief had no certainy of time but Jesus says today.
- No purgatory, no soul sleep, no sorry you were never baptized.
- With the sunrise he had been a condemned man that morning but in paradise as the sun set that evening.
- You will
- Be with Me in paradise.
This message was preached at FBC Toulon,
by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com