Skip to content ↓

The Cross He Bore – The King Among Bandits

Articles Collection cover image

There is just one day remaining in our thirteen-day read of Frederick Leahy’s The Cross He Bore. Tomorrow we will finish just on time to remember the death of Jesus on Good Friday. Meanwhile, today’s text is Luke 23:33: “And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.”

Leahy looks at what it means that Jesus was crucified between two bandits, two common criminals. Here is a brief excerpt:

In no way did the Lord resent being placed among such men at Calvary. The quotation from Isaiah 53:12 may literally be translated, “He…let himself be numbered with the transgressors.” He was totally content with his position; we would not have had it otherwise. He knew that his place among these bandits was willed by his Father and his Father’s will was his will. These criminals, placed there by God, were appropriate company at this time for his Son.

Here, too, is the mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility (Acts 2:23), those parallel lines that to our finite minds never meet. Those who try to make them meet succeed only in distorting both. It is possible, but by no means certain, that in heaven the parallel lines will be seen from a different perspective. In this life they must not be tampered with. They are both true and that is enough. Let the people of God praise him that his Son was so placed at Calvary. Let it be maintained that Christ died not as the representative of his people, but in their stead, dying their death that they might live. In a word, he died as their Substitute.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.