“Three Crosses and Three Convicted Criminals” by Pastor Richard Daughtridge 04/03/11 Sermon Series Easter 2011 “Witnesses of those that watched Christ die.”

Pastor Richard A. Daughtridge

“Three Crosses and Three Convicted Criminals” by Pastor Richard Daughtridge

Sermon Series Easter 2011 “Witnesses of those that watched Christ die.”

Today I want to share the testimonies of three condemned criminals. Their words and their life tell a greater story of mankind. Every story about the three tells a bigger story and each invites us to make a decision.  The plan was clear.

Matthew 27:44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

Luke 23:32 And there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

Luke 23:39-40 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. [40] But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

A. The Cross in the Center was reserved for Barabbas.  (On it was a substitute)

Who was Barabbas?

Barabbas by definition of the greek word means  Son of Abba, which  interpreted means “daddy’s son.”

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

B. The cross on the left we’ll call the cross of Rebellion

1. Submit to His authority

2. Will of their own

3. Things seem foolish

C. The cross on the right was the cross of Repentance

1. He was a sinner

2. Capitol crime

3. Realized that he was guilty of sin

4. He was guilty, and justly punished for his deeds.

5. His desire was to turn from his sin.

6. Acted in his most desperate moment.

The Response from the Cross in the Middle

Luke 23:43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Both heard and watched from the cross. The mockery in a way preached a number of sermons on who Christ was.  Their mocking questions deserve answers:

1. King of the Jews?

2. Builder of the Temple in Three Days?

3. Son of God?

4. King of Israel?

5. Christ a King?

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

It’s obvious we all identify with the cross in the middle. Like Barabbas we were given a pardon when condemned to die.

The question is will we Rebell (cross on the left) or will we Repent (cross on the right) and accept the gift of Eternal Life (offered on the center Cross) ?

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. [2] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Announcement: Our Sunrise Service on Easter morning will begin at 7:15 AM.  Join us in the  for breakfast immediately following the service in the brick  building beside the church.

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