The Three Crosses At Calvary

J. D. Conley
December 24, 2017

The day Christ died two other crosses were raised on Golgotha's brow. These crosses were not there for embellishment nor to provide background music for drama. The crosses of the two malefactors were significant. Their blood stained and pierced timber proffers lessons to be considered too. Just as Christ was dying because of sin, the thieves to His right and left were dying because they were sinners. All three crosses testify to a relationship between sin and death.

Men want to minimize sin, downsize it to a mere indiscretion or a poor judgment call. They want to pretend sin is not as black as gospel preachers have painted it. At every turn we see the wreck of sin. The Internet and news papers are awash in pictures of hate, greed, and lust. Police forces and prisons abound in a defensive maneuver to hold back the tsunami of sin. Death is the word that say the most about the real nature of sin. A casual relationship exists between sin and death, (Rom.6:23).

Christ Dying For Sin - No man but Christ will ever face death on that center cross. He faced it there for all other men, (Rom.5:12). The Lord died as a solemn witness to the truth that where anyone sins, someone must die. Isaiah foresaw this, (Is.53:12). Christ took upon Himself our sins. Each and every sin in the annals of time have been laid on Christ Our debt to God has been transferred to Him. We should have been suspended by nails on that morbid knoll. But because Christ was nailed to that center cross, we need never suffer the shame of a single sin, nor the punishment of hell, (Ps.103:12; 130:4,5,7).

A Penitent Dying To Sin - Despite the fact Christ was dying for all men, only one man expressed appreciation. The apostles had panicked and fled before the grisly scene commenced. The executioners were ridiculing Him, (Mt.27:40-42). However, one man confessed his sins and received the promise of a home in Paradise that very day, (Lk.23:41-44).

A Rebel Dying In Sin - The other thief railed on Jesus, "If you are what you claim to be, the Son of God, then do something about it." He needed help. But he was in no mood for confessing sins or Christ. Faith in Christ is necessary for redemption, (Jn.8:24). The second thief did not exercise it.

On that momentous day two thieves died alongside Christ. But only one was crucified with Christ Only one acknowledged Christ's divinity. Only one believed that in death Christ was destroying sin. We too must die with Christ, (Gal.2:20). Christ died for sin that we might die to sin and not in sin.