The Cross Of Rejection
Picture in your minds three crosses silhouetted on a hillside just outside the city wall of Jerusalem. On the center cross was Jesus Christ the Lord of glory. On either side of the center cross were two noted criminals receiving the judgment they deserved.
It was no accident that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. There are no accidents in a world that is governed by God. From eternity God had decreed When and Where and How and With whom his Son should die. Nothing was left to chance. God declared through Isaiah that his Son would be numbered with the transgressors.
These men were robbers or thieves. They had robbed the highways of the land. They had ransacked houses. They had threatened people. But these two robbers who once planned crimes are now hanging beside Jesus waiting on death.
R. G. Lee said, "Can you picture this, a lamb between two snarling wolves, God's nightingale between two puff adders, The Rose of Sharon between two cactus plants, a dove between two hissing serpents."
What we have here is the crosses of redemption, reception, and rejection. The underlying message is that the center cross is at the center Of God's plan for redemption. This is the place where man did his worst and God did his best. They crucified him between two criminals because that is what they considered him to be.
Both thieves deserved to die. All they had behind them was the ashes of a wasted life. To put it bluntly, they were at the end of themselves. However, one persisted in unbelief until the end, while the other cried out to Jesus for mercy.
These thieves had many things in common: They were both crucified, equally near Christ, witnessed all that transpired in that six hours; notoriously wicked, suffered acutely, both dying, both urgently needed forgiveness. Yet, one man died in his sin, while the other died to his sin.
The cross of Christ represents a Continental Divide. All people must decid ...
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