By Jannie Linney
In this season of the memory our mind is taken once again of the old rugged cross. We remember many things that led up to that horrible time. Horrible, yet precious to us for all it paid for, for you and I. We remember the “kiss of death” made by a friend and co-worker. The thought returns to us of the flogging of the cat of nine-tails, the mocking, ridicule and humiliation. We see the platted crown of thorns shoved down on the brow of an already tormented body. We can almost hear the clash of the hammer as it drives the nails into His hands and feet. Just to think that He loved us so much and still loves us the same today.
There were three crosses that day, two thieves were hanging there beside Jesus, one on the left and one on the right. The cross in the middle, where Jesus hung, represented the earthly realm throughout all history, every time period, past present and the future, for every nation of people, every color in every nation.
“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, if you are the Christ, save Yourself and us” [Luke 23:29]. “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us,” be my cosmic bell hop. Now who do you think the thief was more concerned about? You are right! Himself, as he sneered his mocking attitude at Jesus. “But the other answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear even God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom” [V40-42]. This thief recognized who Jesus is and always will be. He called Him Lord, and prayed or asked Jesus to remember him at the time it really mattered. He had a repentant heart.
Now we see the cross in the middle. The cross of Jesus stood between two men of opposite natures, a representation of heaven and hell, between light and darkness, good and bad. Ultimately, rebellion and repentance. We see the cross that represented all those who think only of themselves, those who make fun of those who love Jesus. We also see that Jesus was crucified for those who humbled themselves and openly showed their change of heart toward our savior. On the third cross, the cross in the middle, we see the one who paid the price for all those who will believe and all those who refuse to believe. The same price was paid for both men. The price Jesus paid was valued by God the Father as “enough” and “it is finished.” Jesus paid the price for all you will ever need. There is no sin too big for God to forgive and no person so bad Jesus will not receive them unto Himself and give them a fresh new start.
This is the year of new beginnings. You may need a new start. If you have never actually said the words “Jesus please forgive me of all my sins and come into my heart, you may want to do that today. That is the beginning place. We are not talking about a conformation class to join a church. This is inviting Jesus to have a personal relationship with you every moment of every day. If you believe the Bible is the word of God the creator, that Jesus came and died on the cross for you, and He came by way of a virgin, and that He will forgive you of all your sins if you ask Him, if you believe that, then you are a good candidate to start a fresh new life today. For you, Jesus hung on the cross in the middle.