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Easter-The Three Crosses

One Foot in Hell

(Horatius Bonar, "The Three Crosses")

"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee,

To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. "
Luke 23:43

The saved thief is a specimen of what the cross is appointed
to do. Sin abounding, grace super-abounding.

What is yon cross erected for? To save souls!
See, it saves one of the worst; one who had done
nothing but evil all his days!

What does that blood flow for?
To wash away sin!
See, it washes one of the blackest!

What does yon Sufferer die for? To pardon the
guiltiest! Not merely to save from hell, but to open
Paradise to the chief of sinners
to open it at once;
not after years of torment, but "today." Today "with
Me." Yes, Jesus goes back to heaven with a saved
robber at His side! What an efficacy in the cross!
What grace, what glory, what cleansing, what healing,
what blessing
at yonder cross! Even "in weakness"
the Son of God can deliver
can pluck brands from
the burning
can defy and defeat the evil one! Such
is the meaning of the cross! Such is the interpretation
which God puts upon it, by saving that wretched thief.

See how near to hell a man may be
and yet be
saved!
That thief, was he not on the very brink of the
burning lake
one foot in hell; almost set on fire by
hell? Yet he is plucked out! He has done nothing but
evil all his days
down to the very last hour of his life;
yet he is saved. He is just about to step into perdition,
when the hand of the Son of God seizes him and lifts
him to
Paradise!

Ah, what grace is here!

What boundless love!

What power to save!

Who after this need despair?

Truly Jesus is mighty to save!

See how near a man may be to Christ
and
yet not be saved.
The other thief is as near the
Savior as his fellow
yet he perishes. From the
very side of Christ
he goes down to hell. From
the very side of his saved fellow
he passes into
damnation. We see the one going up to heaven
and the other going down to hell.

This is astonishing
and it is fearful!

Oh, what a lesson
what a sermon is here!


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