Why 3 Crosses?


We enter another Easter season when Christianity remembers the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection. Good Friday so-called is the day Jesus died on the cross and a day for us to meditate on Jesus’ crucifixion and offer praise and thanksgiving for His obedience unto death, by shedding His blood to pay our penalty for our sin, and procure our redemption by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Cross of Christ is a very important symbol and a powerful reminder that points to the sufferings of Jesus Christ for us. Many churches at Easter will display a single cross draped with a purple scarf while many others will exhibit three crosses. The question for this edition is, why three crosses instead of the single cross representing the one Christ offered Himself up on? There are some who believe the second and third crosses serve to detract from the true cross of Christ.

My thoughts, I believe the reasons the other two crosses, one to the left and the other to the right of the cross of Christ being exhibited serve to remind mankind about choices having to be made concerning what to do about Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Both other crosses, point to two choices to be made having eternal consequences. Those choices reflect the only two reactions people have toward Jesus and the Gospel, i.e., to accept and believe unto salvation, or reject unto eternal condemnation. (John 3:18)

The first cross to the right of Jesus should have a sign on it saying “beliefto show of those who believe/repent, i.e., change their minds about who Jesus really is, and realize they are sinners in need of forgiveness and salvation, just as the dying thief did. He openly believed in and placed his trust solely in Jesus the Christ for his redemption from sin and its penalty. The dying thief cried out to Jesus “Remember me!” His petition to Jesus revealed that he feared God more than his punishment and impending death. This believing thief surely had obtained wisdom that led to repentance. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Because of his appeal to Jesus this man, this repentant sinner thief, upon his death journeyed straight into paradise without any religious ritual(s) employed and without any rational thinking, just belief in who Jesus was (and is) and the record God gave the world about Him. This repentant thief realized his need for forgiveness and redemption and immediately received the promise of eternal life with Christ. (Luke 23:43) This thief knew his punishment was just because he sinned against God and man that caused him to cry out to Jesus, “Remember me!” This is true repentant faith.

The second cross should contain the sign “unbelief.” This cross and its occupant furnish a lesson to rationalists who look for proof to explain (rationally) the Word of the Sovereign Lord whose thoughts and ways are higher than mankind. (See Isaiah 55:6-11) This third cross bears a man who perishes eternally within arm’s length of a Savior. As an infidel His skepticism directed at Jesus’s title and his questioning and rationalizing caused him to say to Jesus, “prove who you are, come down off the cross.” This dying thief, nailed on a cross, railed at the Son of Man, his willing Savior should he believe, tempting Jesus even as death drew nigh saying, “If thou be the Christ save thyself and us.” This mocking second thief only wanted his physical life saved, while the first thief believed he needed spiritual soul-saving-eternal-life. His unbelief that Jesus was not God in Christ next to him on a cross earned him a lost eternity in hell.

Three crosses. On the Center Cross, the Cross of Life eternal hung our Creator Sovereign God in the flesh, Jesus The Christ, willing to die to redeem His highest but fallen creation. (John 10:18) The cross to the right of Jesus bore a thief deserving of his punishment, but who believed in the Son of the Living God hanging beside him. The third cross to the left of Jesus hung an unrepentant thief who railed and mocked his willing Savior hanging an arm’s length away from him. One thief now stands with Jesus his Savior for the eternal ages to come while the other thief because of his refusal to believe in Jesus for his eternal salvation now stands in his designated place in Hades awaiting final judgment. (Rev 20:15) when this unbelieving thief will be judged and separated from the Light for all the eternal ages to come.

The cross between the two malefactors, that being the center Cross, and Who it was (God Incarnate) that gave up His life and shed His blood for a lost world demands, forces, a choice, a choice

. One all have to make. Will it be the choice of the first thief who through belief in Jesus Christ only, and that without ritualism, rationalizing, good works, and without being baptized, found eternal life? Or, the choice of the second thief who rejected Jesus and His sacrificial death because of unbelief and mocking rationalism, thereby to be condemned, and eternally separated from Jesus Christ.

Jesus said at John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” KJV and at John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’

TCC Ministries

The Narrow Road


Inspirational Stories for Truckers

Login Form