As we look at the three crosses this time of year, let us remember we have some choices to make. The Bible becomes very real and alive as we read that Jesus was crucified between two criminals. The two criminals whom, one of them admitted, deserved the death that awaited them. Yet, the other criminal was very bitter and upset with Jesus and life.
Luke, one of the Gospel writers, has the best record of these two men. In Luke 23:32-33 we read:
"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. [NIV] translation
Also, the story continues to unfold as we read verses 39-43.
"One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Of the two men crucified with Jesus, one made a choice to mock. Yet the other one chose to admit his sin and asked for help. These two men really represent all of mankind and choices we make when it comes to eternity. Like these two criminals, we are all are sinful and deserve death. However, some people turn to Jesus for help and some don't. Just like the two who hung beside Jesus, what choice will you make today?