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One Was Me. The Other Was You.

Daily Reading: Matthew 27

Scripture Focus: Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. (Matthew 27.38)

Devotional Thought: Who were those two thieves hanging on the crosses next to Jesus? Ralph Earle writes, "It is altogether possible that they were fellow insurrectionists with Barabbas. If so, it is probable that Barabbas was the one slated to die on the middle cross. But Jesus took his place - a parable of His taking every sinner's place on the Cross." (BBC)

One of the robbers hung on Jesus' left, the other on his right. Left and right... They represent people from both sides of the political spectrum. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Disillusioned - all have need of the saving grace of Jesus. Rich, Poor, Middle Class - these all, too, stand condemned. Educated, Uneducated - need Jesus. Whatever polar opposites you can think of - and all those in between - hang condemned on either side of Jesus. But Jesus died on that cross so that sin and death may no longer be our masters. And, all are able to turn to Jesus for salvation. One thief did. The other didn't.

Those robbers were convicted law-breakers. They deserved to die, as did Barabbas. The Bible says that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It also says the wages of our sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! Thank God that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever would believe in him should not perish but have eternal life!

Who were those two thieves hanging on the crosses next to Jesus? One was me. The other, you.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for taking my place on the cross. Help me this day to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 27 And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. 29 I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens. 30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, 31 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, 33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness. 34 I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. 35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. 37 Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies." Selah 38 But now you have cast off and rejected; you are full of wrath against your anointed. 39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant; you have defiled his crown in the dust. (Psalms 89:27-39)

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