A thought by Max Lucado (2012-01-02) from his book, He Chose the Nails (p. 53). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Do you realize how wonderful but also far-reaching that gift to us from God is? For most kings, they choose everything for us. We have no choice. But not God.
Max says, “And no one delineates this more clearly than Jesus. According to him, we can choose.”
But he goes on, “God gives eternal choices, and these choices have eternal consequences.” Yes, we are free to choose but not free of the consequences of our choices.”
He then says, “Isn’t this the reminder of Calvary’s trio? Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? Why not six or ten? Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? Why not on the far right or far left? Could it be that the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? The gift of choice.”
Max continues, “The two criminals have so much in common. Convicted by the same system. Condemned to the same death. Surrounded by the same crowd. Equally close to the same Jesus. In fact, they begin with the same sarcasm: ‘The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus’ (Matt. 27: 44 CEV). But one changed.”
“One of the criminals on a cross began to shout insults at Jesus: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Then save yourself and us.’ But the other criminal stopped him and said, ‘You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment he is. We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’” (Luke 23: 39– 43)
We too have the freedom to choose where we will spend eternity. It is our freedom. God has given us that choice.
John 3: 16 says, “For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Don’t you think this season of Easter would be a great time to make the choice for Jesus? Will you believe in him so you will not perish?