From the Gospels, starting with Matthew 27:38; “Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right hand and one on the left.” Mark 15:27; “And with Him, they crucified two robbers; one on His right and one on His left.” Luke 23:33; “And when they came to the place that is called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on His right and one on His left.” And finally, John 19:18; “There they crucified Him, and with Him two others; one on either side, and Jesus between them.” (ESV, all emphasis mine)
All four Gospels mention a sign stating, “Jesus, King of the Jews,” but John gives more detail in John 19:19-22; “Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the City, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priest of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write the King of the Jews, but rather this man said I am the King of the Jews.’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written.'”
For all true believers, the Cross is a symbol that shows how much the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit actually love all of us imperfect humans. Because of our Savior going to the Cross willingly (John 10:18), we have a blessing of the free gift of Salvation through His sacrifice. It cannot be earned or bought by us, but we can have this gift by receiving and accepting Jesus as our only Lord and Savior (John 14:6). His blood covers all the sins that all believers ever have committed when we confess that we are hopeless beings without our Wonderful Shepherd. The only other main stipulation is that we have faith and believe Jesus really died on that cross, and the Father raised Him up to conquer sin and death for all of His flock.
To those of this world who are under the influence of Satan, all this is mumbo jumbo. As stated in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
Just a reminder here: it is not a problem to have and display crosses as long as they are not objects of worship. The cross is only a symbol and should remind us to worship the One who suffered and died on that cruel implement of death at Calvary for all of us. In fact, if we worship anything on this earth except our Holy Trinity, it is wrong. Riches, property, vehicles, or whatever are for our convenience but not to be held in esteem over our Heavenly Father.
Looking at Isaiah 53, we have a picture of why Jesus came here from the words of a prophet that lived over 700 years before the Savior was born as a human. Some of the points Isaiah made were: Jesus was not the beautiful individual that is depicted in artists’ portraits today, He was despised by the so-called religious leaders, and not esteemed by all.
Further, Jesus bore our griefs and sorrows and was “pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities,” as given in Isaiah 53:5. When the Savior took on all of the sin this world had seen, and all sin that would take place, the Father would have had to turn away from Him for the first time ever. Just before He died, the Savior cried out, “My God; My God; Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 24:46). This fulfilled the beginning of Psalm 22:1, again, written many centuries before Jesus walked this earth.
In John 19:30, when Jesus said, “It is finished,” this simple statement of only three words said that our sacrifice was completed for us, and the blood of bulls and goats would no longer be acceptable (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus had fully paid for all sins of everyone who would call on Him to be their Savior.
When I think of what He endured and then look back on my life, especially before I called out to Him, my mind says His cross should have been mine. Ronny Henson wrote a song that was performed by the Florida Boys called “The Cross in The Middle.” This song speaks volumes of the love of our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
1.) Now there is no sign of the crosses, but history records there were three. Two stood because of men’s broken laws, but I know the other stood there for me. I didn’t know Peter or Judas, but I’ve known the shame of their crimes. I’m so glad Jesus did die in my stead, but the cross in the middle should have been mine.
Ref.) I never heard the hammer, and I never felt the nails. I never saw when the angry mob cussed as the prisoners fell. And they never knew this old sinner, as I’m of some other place and time. The choice was all His, but the truth was and is, the cross in the middle should have been mine.
2.) I never deserved the mercy or merited so much grace. And this unworthy man just can’t understand why that Man of no wrong took my rightful place. And if you ever stop at Calvary, the blood isn’t all that you’ll find; for you’ll feel it too, why I feel like I do; the cross in the middle should have been mine.
Ref. plus) The choice was all His, but the truth was and is, the cross in the middle should have been mine – should have been mine!
Even with all that our Savior knew would take place, He still gave us the greatest gift of all that so few would actually appreciate. Jesus knew that there would be more people who would be on that wide road to destruction than on the narrow path that leads to Him (Matthew 7:13-14). He could have said it wasn’t worth all the pain and anguish for such a small group, but He treasures each and every soul that would call on Him, no matter what the number would be.
We can never live a perfect, sinless life here as He did, yet we get the total benefit that we do not deserve. Thinking about this, how could I not love My Savior for taking my place at Calvary? It will take me all eternity to even begin to thank Him for my Home there with Him.
For all who will not receive and accept the Wonderful Shepherd, my heart cries out for them. To take your last breath here without Jesus automatically puts you in the long line at the great white throne of Revelation 20:11-15. At this judgment, all will be held responsible for every sin, great or small, that they ever committed. There is no forgiveness or pardons here. The outcome is eternal punishment in the lake of fire with Satan and his demons.
No one can be blamed for this except the ones who chose to be in that line. Everyone has the chance to choose eternal life with Jesus if they will only do so. The Heavenly Father saw His Son brutally murdered on that cross, and accepted His blood sacrifice once for all who will call out to be saved. He will force no one to accept that sacrifice but will gladly receive all who will.
Take a moment to consider where you want to spend eternity, but don’t wait too long. We’re not guaranteed another day here, so right now would not be too soon to become a part of the precious flock of the Wonderful Shepherd. You will be eternally thankful if you ask Jesus to forgive and save you right now. He will gladly prepare a place for you with His own hands (John 14:1-3).
Hope to see you at Home!
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
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