"He was numbered with the transgressors; For and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the trangressors."
- writes Isaiah about the Messiah (Isaiah 53:12), the gospel expresses that so:
"Two other man, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed." (Luke 23:32)
The three crucified embody three worlds. We want to consider what this Bible-passage teaches us!
ON THE FIRST CROSShanged man blasphemed Jesus, like many others, that stood ard the cross, put Him demands, yes, he gave Him even advices and doubted Him:
"Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
This man represents the ones, that know neither the Lord Jesus nor themselves. That he doesn't know Jesus, is well comprehensible to us, however he looks just as blindly at himself, too. The motto of the then heathen world was: "Recognize yourself!" however neither in the Greek nor in the Roman books is reported, that it would be only a single person successful to recognize himself. It is useless effort to want to see ourselves in a dark room in the mirror; it is impossible as long as no light appears. Therefore, Jesus Christ says:
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
Whoever follows the Lord Jesus even receives also eyes for himself. The first crucified recognized nothing of his sins however. Rather, he demanded from Jesus that He should let him, just as he was, go back to the way, that he had gone until then and from which the judgment of Pilate had torn him away. Jesus should disregard that he was a robbery- murderer. He should cross out the rightful judgment of Pilate and should help him to come back into his old life and tinue with it. This is total spiritual blindness. Even the human society has not tolerated him but nevertheless he has coveted Jesus' help in order to be able to continue his dark life.
People, even if they are no robberymurderer, tend to ask God in times of sickness and need, He might help them however. They ask, yes demand His help in order to realize their own plans and to reach their own goals. With it man places himself into the center of the universe and wants that everything and everyone, even Christ himself, should support his plans and goals. So is somebody, who cannot recognize himself in the pagan darkness, but even in the nearness of Jesus doesn't want to do so! That's a tragedy. If the body is sick, so man runs from doctor to doctor. About his mental and spiritual disaster however he wants to knoww nothing.
A beliving doctor, who had many patients, noticed with one that he was in the bodily- mental final stage and said ti him:
"I can help you with no recipe anymore, only God can heal you! If you agree, I now pray for you." Upon which the relatives angrily replied:
"We have called a doctor anh not a priest!"
The same doctor had another patient in the same condition. He entered also to him, in his capacity as doctor, as one who could help him no longer and recommended to kneel down at the bed of the sufferer and to ask God for help. With this occurrence, I myself was present and was very astonished; never before had I heard or seen something like this. The sick person wailed under vehement cramps. We prayed. Then the sick asked us to go into the other room, because he is healed! Since then, over 30 yers have passed! This illness never ever appeared with him anymore. He even begot children hereafter.
Two similer cases: the first patient resembles the behavior of the man at the first cross, the other that at the second.
One doesn't recognize his inner need until the time that the light of Jesus Christ shines into his life. As the x-ray makes the last bone fragment visible, so the light of the Lord reveals all breaks, dislocations and other lacks of our inner being.
ON THE SECOND CROSS
hanged criminal heard the words of his comrade and rebuked him:
"Don't you fear God, he said, since you are under the same senlence? We are punished justly; for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
This man knew himself, he admitted his iniquity, acknowledged the rightful judgment of Pilate, but he recognized also Jesus Christ! He recognized that Jesus had done nothing wrong and suffered completely innocently. We don't know how he knew Jesus, also not, if he knew Him, why didn't he follow Him, but he gave the same certificate over Him like Pilate:
"I find no fault in this man."
However this man recognized more than the governor since he saw not only the earthly life of the Lord Jesus but also His heavenly connections. Also he craved something of him, however not like his comrade, that He should free him but:
"Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom!"
How much the requests of the two criminals differ from each other! What is the reason for it? The first man knew neither himself nor the Lord Jesus; the second knew himself, confessed his sins, but recognized also the Lord Jesus.
The Lord is silent to the request of the first, but the request of the second He doesn't leave without answer and says:
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
This second malefactor places us in front of the question: Are we represented by him? Do we assess ourselves rightly that even if our outer man dies our inner man will live with Christ? If not, then we cause much damage during our lifetime as well as ourselfs as also our fellow men.
ON THE CENTRAL CROSS
the Lord speaks no longer much. He doesn't give the mountain-sermon here. The time of teaching is past. He heals nobody anymore, He executes his last ministry as He predicted:
"We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." (Luke 18:31b-33)
After the then fight in the prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, he knew that there was no area for a program modification, for a descending of the cross. It only remained one thing to do: To open the gate of His kingdom for those, who ask him. The pushing crowd asked not. Under the graet number of Jews in Jerusalem, that so much had heard him, wasn't found anybody, who would have recognized the king in Him, who possesses a kingdom, in which one can enter, in which one can crave admission. But the evildoer wandering on the way of sin recognized him. How much more would have been able to recognize him the others! Here, we understand the word of the Lord:
"I did not came those, who held themselves for righteous", but He came to be merciful over the sinful descendants of Adam and Cain in order to lead them back there from where they had been driven out. He came for the outcast, He led them back into His kingdom and that He is doing until this day. Whoever recognizes his iniquity lifts no stones against others anymore. Also the apostle Paul recognized himself after the light of the Lord Jasus had penetrated his life, and said: "I am the chief among the sinners!"
"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came in to the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst." (1 Timothy 1:15)
How do we see ourselves? Not him, that sits beside us, not our neightbor but us ourselfs. More or less we all are sick. No body is perfect, but also no soul, still any a life. Whom the light of the Lord Jesus has shine through, and so he recognizes his lacks, that can ask Him that He may remember him. Such request, like that of the second malefactor, the LORD always answers. And He gives more, than we ask.
Praise the LORD! Marana tha!
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all."
(2 Corintians 13:14)
Translated by Istvan Gazdag
Shine on me! Shine, Jesus!
Shine, fill this land with Fater's glory;
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts fire!
Flow, river, flow, flood the nations
with grace and mercy;
Send forth your word, Lord,
and let there be light!
1. Lord, the light of your love is shining,
in the midst of the darkness, shining:
Jesus, light of the world, shine up on us
set us free by the truth you now bring us!
2. Lord, I come to your awesome prescence,
from the shadows in to your radiance;
by your Blood I may enter your brightness:
search me, try me, costume all my story!
3. As we gaze on your kingly brightness
so our faces dis play your likeness,
ever changing from glory to glory:
mirrored here, may our lives tell your story!
/Words and music: Graham Kendrick/
BIOGRAPHIES, STORIES and TEACHING
The Life of Dr. Ferenc Kiss
Kossuth-prize medical professor
by Rozalia Makai
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