Three Crosses

Matthew 27:35-44


Verse 35 - And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

A fulfillment of Psalms 22:16-18


Verse 36-37 - And sitting down they watched him there; 37  And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Luke 23:38 - written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

John 19:21 - The Pharisees wanted the title changed, but Pilate would not change it.


Verse 38 - Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Isaiah 53:12 - Christ fulfilled this verse.

We don’t like to be accused of anything we are not guilty of - How would Christ felt when He, the only begotten son of God, is accused of being a common thief or criminal?  We are totally depraved, but God has no sin at all.


Verse 39-40 - And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,  40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Three years previously Jesus said this in John 2:18-21 - The people had heard and understood all along.  They just didn’t believe Him.

They had heard, but did not hear - Matthew 13:13.  They didn’t get the real meaning.


Verse 41-42 - Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Mocking is making fun of.  They didn’t believe He had saved others.  Note Christ had healed many sick, raised the dead, stopped storms at sea, fed 5,000 on one occasion, and 4,000 on another occasion, healed the blind in their presence,

Here is a striking contrast: If Christ would come down off the cross to show that He was the Saviour; He would fail to complete the means of forgiveness that would be available to them.  But they say if Christ doesn’t come down they won’t believe Him.


Verse 43 - He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

In this verse, His enemies confess they know He said He is the Son of God.  They just don’t believe He is the son of God.

Jesus had clearly declared He is the Son of God - why is it liberals today deny that Jesus declared He is the Son of God?

They add, “If he will have him.”  A direct fulfillment of Psalms 22:6-8.


Verse 44 - The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Both of these thieves was well acquainted with the teachings of Jesus, the miracles He did, His claims of Son ship to the eternal God, His claim to being the king of Israel, and the Messiah.  It takes more than a head knowledge to be saved.  It takes the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and His grace upon us, giving us salvation as a gift.

At the beginning, both thieves railed on Christ, but Luke 23:39-43 declares that one thief repented and was saved.

Therefore, we have

1.      One dead in sins, dying in sin.

2.      One dead in sins dying to sin.

3.      one without sin dying for sin.


1.      One dead in sins, dying in sin. - hell bound

John 8:21-24 - Jesus had told the Pharisees they would die in their sins if they didn’t believe He was the Christ.  This is what was taking place for the unrepentant thief.  He will face his sins in judgment.  He will go into hell, face Christ again at the Great White Throne Judgment, then be cast for all eternity into the Lake of Fire.


2.      One dead in sins, dying to sin. - heaven bound

This thief had Jesus as his personal saviour before the three hours of darkness - no miracle was necessary for his salvation.

Why did one thief turn and not the other, or why not both of them?

1.      Not tender hearted - all have a black heart.

2.      Not more knowledge- both had same amount of knowledge.

3.      Not good works - both are dying for their own personal crimes.

Of the seven times Jesus spoke on the cross, Luke 23:43 was number two.

Romans 6:1,2 - dead to sin

Col. 2:13 - dead in our sins, we have been quickened together with Him

I Peter 2:24 - We are dead to sins, therefore we should live unto righteousness.


3.      One without sin, dying for sin. - from heaven - to heaven

Christ didn’t die because of His own sinfulness, but for our sins.

I Peter 3:18,22 - Christ didn’t have any sin, but died for our sins.

Matthew 1:21 - Mary was told she would bring forth a son, who would save His people from their sins.

Romans 8:3 - Christ did for us what the law could not do because it was weak through the flesh.

Hebrews 10:12 - When Christ has one time offered Himself for our sinfulness, he sat down on the right hand of God.