Luke 23:32 – 33 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left.
Do you remember when, in Mark 10:35 – 39, James and John asked Jesus if they could be on His right and left, once He took His rightful place on the throne of His kingdom? If you recall, Jesus didn’t take too kindly to that question. He put them in their places, saying, “If you want to rule with me, you’re going to have to go through some pretty hard stuff.”
Ironic, isn’t it? James and John wanted to rule at Jesus’ right and left. And here, as our Lord died, he was flanked by two criminals.
It reminds me once again that in His death, the most Holy God had evil plastered on Him from all sides. He was crucified at a place called the Skull, which is a symbol of evil. He was surrounded on either side by criminals. And He placed on Himself the sinfulness of all mankind.
Leaves me speechless.
Like James and John, I want the benefits of Christianity. I want the blessings. But our Lord chose a different road. He chose the road of difficulty and hardship, so that I could experience God’s blessings. He chose to be surrounded by evil, so that we could be surrounded by God’s love.
Those criminals were not worthy of dying next to our Lord. James and John weren’t worthy of living next to Him. And I’m not worthy of the relationship He has with me. But He loves each one of us – criminal, disciple, pilgrim – with an undying love.
Dear Father, Thank You for loving me and for dying for me, so that I might live. Thank You for loving all of us the same, no matter what we’ve done.