Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,
and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out His life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12
Yesterday’s post was entitled, “The thief on a cross…” but we know that it was not one thief but two – “There they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle (John 19:18).”
We also know that both men were guilty of transgressing the Roman government for Isaiah 53:12 (above) declares that Jesus was numbered with the transgressors. This is truth because it is a statement from God. These men transgressed the law.
We also know that the guilt of the transgressors was completely opposite, so unlike, Jesus for He never transgressed anyone, the law, or God. In fact, He is God. God on a cross. He is absolutely Holy, Righteous, Pure, Perfect, Sinless. This Great and Awesome God so desired to identify with man that He has come to rescue him and He willingly bears the shame of hanging among the transgressors.
Both men were robbers and both joined the others in heaping insults on Jesus. One would think that they would so concerned about their own condition that they would not be caught up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Perhaps they thought they would gain some type favor with the Romans by taking part. We don’t know.
We are not told the specific nature of the crimes these men committed but it must have been far greater than petty since they are hanging on a cross.
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. 39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. Matthew 27
So here we are at the take-away again. The moment of the so what…what do I take from this portion of the story that will grow my relationship with this same Jesus who was willing to bear shame to identify with me and my condition as He gave His life for me? Selah!
It would be easy to quickly say that I am no thief, never stole anything from anyone. I cannot relate. But there is a need to move from the obvious to ask a more meaningful question, have I ever robbed God or am I robbing Him even now? I believe this to be an important question for all mankind is at the Cross of Calvary.
The easy one is from Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” But there are other ways of robbing God so let’s begin a list below:
- Worship and devotion – so many ‘g’od’s today. The Lord desires that we have no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater than we do Him. Surely the cross tells that He deserves our love, worship and devotion, that there can be no other ‘g’od, no competition. Jesus and Jesus alone, not Jesus plus anybody or anything. Am I robbing God? Exodus 20:3, Matthew 22:37-38, Romans 1:25
- Love – Is it possible to not love the One who first loved us and proved it at the Cross giving us redemption and forgiveness? Does my life demonstrate my love…with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength? Am I robbing God? 1 John 4:19, Luke 10:27, John 14:15, 1 John 5:3
- Fellowship, communion, pray – we are a busy, busy society with time for everyone and everything but God. He created us for Himself and yet in our busyness is it possible that we do not have time to spend with Him in fellowship, communion, prayer…to behold His beauty, to hear His voice, to know His touch? Am I robbing God? Luke 10:39-42; Psalm 27:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Praise – The LORD is Creator, Redeemer, I AM, Sovereign, the Giver of Salvation. We live, move, and have our being in Him. He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory…we know this. Is it possible that we sometimes we manage to praise ourselves, our children, pocketbooks, intellect, possessions and connections more than Him. Am I robbing God? Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 45:5-6, Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3
- Service – Our God has given us so many gifts, talents, and skills. We use them in our daily lives but am I being careful to use them for the cause of Christ and the building of His Kingdom? Jesus said “to whom much is given, much is required.” Am I robbing God? Luke 12:48, Matthew 25:14-30, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6-8
- Time – Am I giving my Savior more than the quick prayer in the car on the way to work? Am I taking time to encourage and serve others? Do I have quiet time with Him each day? Am I robbing God? Mark 6:30-32, Ephesians 5:15-17, Colossians 4:5
- Obedience – My love should be for God should be proven in obedience, demonstration of faith and trust…am I robbing God? Mark 12:30, Psalm 18:30, 1 Samuel 15:22
- Growth – Am I coming to the feet of Jesus that I would grow in His grace and Word so I could know Him in greater ways and He could use me in greater things in His Kingdom? Am I robbing God? John 17:3, Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12, 2 Peter 3:18
- Glory – Am I robbing God of His glory and trying to establish my own? Isaiah 42:8, Ephesians 6:11-14
Certainly there are more ways to rob God than listed above and the Scripture listing could go on and on…but I believe the Lord would have so love Him and so express our gratitude by not robbing Him of the what He endured shame, brutality, shedding of blood and life to give Him. May He strengthen us by His Spirit and Word that we would be found faithful.
We will continue with the robbers on tomorrow. Bless you today!