Wednesday, 8 December 2021
“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.” -Luke 23:33
Our reading focuses the way to Calvary and the Crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Calvary was a site just outside the Jerusalem wall. Many thoughts go through our mind as we read this portion: Calvary, the place where the Lamb of God became a redeeming sacrifice for us (Heb.10:12) to take away our sins (Hebrews 9:26)! Through Jesus Christ -God revealed His master plan for saving mankind (1 John 4:10, 1Peter 3:18); our debts that stood against us were cancelled (Col.2:14); Reconciled both Jew and Gentile to God in one body through the cross, removing the hostility (Eph.2:16). We can now enter boldly into the holy place through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16); the plans of the devil were defeated while Christ disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them on the Cross (Col.2:15). The list goes on…. all that Christ accomplished for us through the Cross! Indescribable! We are unworthy! We can only say- our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save you and me!
On the small hill—Calvary, we see three crosses and three crucified persons (v.33). (i) Jesus Christ who is our Saviour, (ii) one of the criminals who repented and was saved (iii) another criminal who rebuked Jesus and was lost. The story of mankind is represented through these three persons:
Jesus Christ our Saviour-The one and only Way for all mankind: - He died for each of us- He is the Saviour of mankind! “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1Tim.1:15). Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me…” (John 14:6). No one can approach God except through Him. Since Jesus is the way to God, what should be your response? Accept Him as your Saviour!
Repented criminal: (The Redeemed one) (Vs 40-45), He represents a child of God who accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal Saviour and Lord. Like him many of us were also dead in our trespasses and sins, we were all far from Lord but by His grace we have been saved (Eph.2:1-5). Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want anyone to perish. The one who understands his mistakes, confesses, repents and returns to Him- God forgives him/her!. “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live …” (Ezek.33:11)
Unrepentant criminal (The Lost one) (v.39):- In the last moments of his life also his selfish ambition surfaces- lying on the cross he said: “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"(v39). His hands are nailed, unable to move; no way of escape-the soldiers are surrounded. But still his desire is to escape from this cross. Many react to the good news in like manner as this man did. He is paying the penalty of his sin- a slave of sin; the Saviour is just near him- but he is rebellious to the Word of God ad rejects Christ which will lead him to eternal death. How long will you reject the Saviour?
As seen above there are only two types of people -Redeemed sinner and Lost sinner -one died in sin and the other took a decision to trust the Saviour for a death to sin! Remember child of God: “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor.6:20).
Promise: “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
Listen: ‘Mighty to save’