The figure on the centre cross… has no such shadow of sin. “We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NKJV). Stainless. Selfless. Even on a sinner’s cross Jesus’s holiness illuminates heaven…
Many could have spoken on behalf of Jesus, but none did. Until now. Kind words from the lips of a thief. He makes his request. “Lord, remember we when You come into Your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42). The Savior turns His heavy head toward the prodigal child and promises, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
To those at the foot of the cross, the dialogue was curious. But to those at the foot of the throne, the dialogue was outrageous. They couldn’t imagine it. How could the thief come to paradise? How could a soul speckled by sin go to heaven? How could a sinner be saved? They were about to see.
Did an angle move, did a demon stir as they witnessed the answering of the prayer? The sins of the thief (and all us thieves!) leave him and go to Jesus. Tiny specks at first, then large flakes, and finally layers of filth. Every evil thought. Each vile deed. The thief’s ravings. His cursing. His greed. His sin. All now covering Jesus Christ. What nauseates God now covers His Son… The One with no sin becomes sin-filled. The one sin-filled becomes sinless.
It is eternity’s most bizarre exchange. Paul explained it like this: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13).
[From A Gentle Thunder by Max Luxado]
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.