Before the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire out of honor for Jesus Christ, it was considered an important method of capital punishment for many including political and religious agitators, insurrectionists, and violent criminals. In the Biblical account, there were two others crucified with Christ whom are usually branded as “thieves” or common place criminals. But due to the horrific way of death by crucifixion, it is more apt to imply their offenses went beyond simple thievery and instead were cruel and brutal in nature.
Over the criminal’s heads were placed notices (labels) stating their name and crime. We do not know the specific crime these two criminals crucified on either side of Christ were guilty of because the Bible does not say. But we can speculate it was a result from a culmination of seriously bad choices and life apart from God that brought them there. Where did it go wrong for them? How did they find themselves in that place?
Jesus knew. He knew their name and their crime. They could no longer run and hide. One criminal mocked him, refusing to see Jesus for who He really was and is. The other criminal admitted his guilt and sought mercy in which Christ gave freely!
Have you been running away from God? Trying to avoid Him and keep your guilt hidden? One day, there will be no place left to run. Turn to Him now. Do not let your heart become so hard that you refuse to acknowledge Christ even to the very end.
God, I haven't been living in a way that pleases You. I see that now, and I am truly sorry. I ask for Your forgiveness and help. Thank You for giving me new life.
Psalm 36:1 – “Crime speaks to the wicked…before his eyes there is no fear of God…so set is he on his own bad way that he doesn’t hate evil.”