Scripture: Two other men both criminals were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on the right, the other on his left (Luke 23:32-33 NIV).
Jesus as Mediator, acts as an intermediary (or go between), to influence a disagreement between two parties. He is positioned between two thieves, one on the right hanging on a cross, and one on the left hanging on a cross. Jesus is the middle man. His presence is right next to them. There is a choice to make. Will it be paradise or hell?
One of the malefactors hurled insults along with the crowd. The other malefactor rebuked the insult-hurler and then he asked Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom (v. 42).
I am reminded of Salome’s conversation with Jesus concerning her two sons. She made the request for both of her sons to receive positions sitting right next to Jesus when His Kingdom comes. One on the right and the other on the left, just as the two thieves next to Jesus crucified in Golgotha. The conversation went like this:
The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
“What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them.
Can you drink the cup I am going to drink? Jesus asked. “We can,” they answered (Matt. 20:22 NIV).
Jesus’ passion is described as his cup. He had already been suffering sorrow. He was a man acquainted with grief and sorrow. Salome did not understand what they were requesting. The cup of suffering is required before the position is granted.
Are you expecting honor and riches like the sons of Zebedee? They thought the kingdom might promise them pleasure and happiness. They thought drinking his cup and being baptized with his baptism were the conditions and means for joy, comfort, and ease. They did not know what they were asking for. Instead, this cup is bitter. It’s accompanied by a sea of sorrow and suffering. This cup is compared to a bitter cup of vengeance, wrath, and indignation. These were the portions allotted to Jesus.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning these fiery trials which are to test your faith. These have come so that your faith may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus is revealed (1 Pet. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:7).
This is Jesus’ first case as mediator. Clearly the thieves were in disagreement as they hung on the cross. The one wanted to be with Jesus in His Kingdom (follow Him), while the other hurled insults at Him along with the crowd. Jesus is the mediator of a new and better covenant. The old covenant is obsolete. Whenever there is a change in the High Priest, there is a change in covenant. The new covenant is founded on better promises (Heb. 8:6).
Jesus has the right as the arbitrator because of His highly exalted position. 1 Tim. 2:5 reads, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus represents those who trust in Him before God’s throne of grace. He is our defense attorney before God.
Jesus is the middleman, He is the door between heaven and earth. He is the mediator between the Father and man. He is the only way to the Father. The choice is yours to make. Will you choose heaven or hell? Salvation is a choice, and it’s the free gift of God. Jesus has already paid the price when he gave his life on Calvary’s Cross. He gave His life so that we may live life more abundantly. The choice is yours.
So, where do you wish to sit, on the right or the left? The kingdom is coming.
Blessing to you!