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THREE CROSSES OF CALVARY

MATTHEW 27:38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Introduction:

            We recognize the cross as a symbol of the sacrifice and redemption Christ made for us. But there were 2 other crosses on Calvary that day. Those two crosses represent the two divisions of people in relationship to the cross. One stands in rejection of the middle cross while the other represents those who receive Christ as their Savior.

•I.                    THE CROSS OF REDEMPTION

  • a. The middle cross of Christ
  • i. Represents sacrifice

Eph. 5:1  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

  • ii. Represents salvation

Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

  • iii. Represents security

(1 John 5:13 KJV)  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

  • b. The cross of Christ to us
  • i. Is our deliverance
  • 1. The middle cross delivers us from the penalty of sin and death.
  • 2. The middle cross delivers us into the family of God.
  • ii. Is our desire
  • 1. The cross was a symbol of death
  • 2. For us it is the symbol of life.
  • 3. The empty cross is the desire of our heart.

•II.                  THE CROSS OF REJECTION

  • a. Is the cross of carelessness
  • i. Represents all those how view the middle cross without concern.
  • b. Is the cross of censure

(Mat 27:43 KJV)  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

(Mat 27:44 KJV)  The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

(Luke 23:39 KJV)  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

  • i. At the beginning both men rejected Christ
  • ii. Must like so many reject Christ today.
  • c. Is the cross of convection

(Luke 23:40 KJV)  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

  • d. Is the cross of condemnation

•III.                THE CROSS OF RECEPTION

(Luke 23:41 KJV)  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

  • a. Is the cross of faith
  • i. By repentance and faith this criminal accepted Jesus as his personal savior.
  • ii. In this same way we also receive Jesus as our Savior.
  • b. Is the cross of family
  • i. He entered into a new family relationship
  • ii. He became a child of God
  • iii. He became a joint heir with Jesus Christ.
  • c. Is the cross of future
  • i. He left sin and death behind
  • ii. He had a bright future in paradise to look forward to.
  • iii. His life here was short but his witness remains to this day.
  • d. Is the cross of freedom
  • i. For the first time in his life he was truly free.
  • ii. His cross became his deliverance into a new and much better life.
  • e. Is the cross of favor
  • i. He became bold in seeking the favor of Christ.
  • ii. The Savior was direct in granting his favor.
  • iii. To day thou shalt be with me in paradise.

Conclusion:

            Every person is either on the left hand or right hand of Christ.

            We either accept what he did for us

            Or we pay our own sin debt in a devils hell.