When looking at the hill of Calvary, we tend to focus a great deal on the middle cross. Rightly so, for that is the cross by which we are saved. But we must not exclude the other two crosses, for they are representative of mankind (Luke 23:39-41). We ourselves take one of these two viewpoints when it comes to the Son of God. Either we take the side of the blasphemous criminal, mocking the name of Jesus, or we defend Him. There is no middle ground. These two crosses can be classified as the cross of rebellion and the cross of repentance.
The cross of rebellion represents those who despise the name of Jesus. They do not want to submit to His authority. Such a person is above the need or the desire for a God. We often think of the atheist as being rebellious, but if we look into the scriptures, it is the children of God who are warned against rebellion. Children at times have the “my way” attitude, and God’s spiritual children are no different. The spirit of rebellion will find no place within the kingdom of God (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
The cross of repentance is the one we ought to bear. We do not know much about either thief, but we do know that the penitent thief was a sinner. In fact, his sins were so hideous that he was to die because of them. He also realized that he was guilty of sin and deserved punishment for his deeds. His desire was to turn from his sin, but he realized that he could not do it on his own. He realized that he needed a Savior. What cross will you bear? What words will you hear on the great day?