Luke 22:39-46; II Corinthians 5:21
The ancient Roman government used crucifixion for the death penalty of criminals. The criminals were nailed to a tree and suffered in excruciating pain. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, was crucified on the cross to die for the sins of the world. He gave to us the final act of deliverance.
His cross signifies the magnitude in which God hates sin. At the same time, it tells us how much God loves us. Jesus was in the middle of two malefactors. The malefactors were guilty as charged. But Jesus was innocent of all charges. The one malefactor taunted Christ as to his authority to save himself. However the other malefactor knew that their judgment was justified and that Christ did nothing to deserve the death sentence.
The power of the cross of Christ was at work before his death. The malefactor could perceive that Christ was the son of God. He requested “remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom”. This was his final act of deliverance. His last motion to acknowledge Jesus. The scriptures don’t record an open confession and repentance of this malefactor. But we do know that God knows the heart and intent of every man. In just a few words and moments, his day of salvation had come. He was saved. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the final act of deliverance. God gave us his all in Jesus. It is through him we are delivered from the bondage of sins. There will be no other savior, no other way to be delivered from sins. The power of his cross will never fail, diminish or be impersonated. The death of Jesus is the final act of deliverance for this world. His second coming will be the triumphant call for his people to enter into the eternal joy of heaven.
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May God bless us all.