Luke 23:35-43

Jesus was crucified between two criminals. 

He was crucified with criminals, in order that He might be seen as one of them.  Scorn and shame for the King of the Jews.

He lived His life with “no place to lay His head,” as a common carpenter from Nazareth where no one expected much its sons (Luke 9:58, John 1:46).

And He died next to two men, condemned to death for violently robbing others (Matthew 27:38).

He was “numbered with the transgressors,” though He was not one of them (Isaiah 53:12).

One criminal joined in the mocking of the rulers and the people.  In his weakness, he made one last attempt at preserving His pride.  He did not realize who hung next to him.

The other criminal looked upon the face of Jesus and knew He was innocent.  In his weakness, he asked for mercy.  He understood who hung next to him.

Jesus’ words to that man remind us that He came for the sick, not the healthy (Matthew 9:12).

And His words speak life to anyone who would call on the name of Jesus, recognizing who He is and who they are not. 

For though the world laughs and mocks the man who hung on the cross, we know He really is the King.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said … (Joel 2:32)