The death of Jesus Christ was very public yet subtle in a way that not many people understood what was really going on, even His disciples only had full discernment after He had risen from the dead. Not everyone had a sobering realization that at the end of one’s life, either you will be in heaven’s eternity or death’s eternity. One thing that has always got me thinking is why was there two thieves on the cross with Him and not any other kind of transgressor? I have always been prompted to search for a deeper meaning, something revealing why thieves and not murders or adulterers. Is there a hidden message or a parable on the cross? Would you say thieves represent every sin under the sun? Looking at the ten commandments, would conclude that almost everything is wrapped around something being taken away unwillingly from the rightful owner? I may have stretched this too thin but bear with me, let’s look together, shall we? With an open mind, write down your trail of thoughts.
The first commandment says, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. First, we see that God establishes authority. He identifies Himself as a God who shows up in a time of need, Psalm 46 echoes that. He reveals Himself to us if we seek Him and search for Him with all our heart, Jeremiah 29 explains. The second commandment says, You shall not make yourself a carved image. The bible elaborates what these carved images look like and we have also come to understand that these idols could very well be anything tangible or intangible. However, I want us to look at this in this way, in 1 Chron. 29, David together with Solomon, and the people of Israel gave gold, silver and more precious items from their personal treasures to God, for the house of the Lord they were building. And in verse 14 he says, "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and Your own we have given You." They willingly gave to back to God what God had already given them, what a delight. On the flip side of the coin, the Israelites in the wilderness, after being left alone with Aaron for several days, asked to be given a god that shall go before them, and they took the golden earrings from their ears and broke them off to form a golden calf. Everything we have, God has given us, and to not use them for His glory is idolatry. In what ways are you robbing God of the opportunity to be your God that brought you out of the house of bondage? What own counsel are you seeking?
The third and fourth commandments say, You shall not take the name of your Lord in vain and Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Anything that keeps you from keeping the Sabbath is an idol. Let that sink in, and look a little deeper if you can. When it comes to using the name of the Lord in vain, let us look at the opposite of that. For so long I have been afraid of mentioning the name of the enemy. To say the devil or satan in my prayers was like trying to wake up the dragon. I thought if I keep his name away from my mouth then he would not know who I am, and he won’t bother me. Well, if you don’t mention his name how are you to rebuke him? I feared the name and the power of the devil more than I feared the same about God. To make things worse, I feared the chastening of the Lord and often settled for consequences of the enemy because I thought I could predict the outcome and control how much it would hurt, than surrender to the unpredictable Love experience of God, whose thoughts toward me are of peace and not evil, giving me a future and a hope. I couldn’t understand that it’s only those He loves that He chastens. I robbed God of His glory, and without realizing it I feared everything about the enemy that I should fear about God. Who are you worshiping? The Lord says He will not hold him guiltless one who takes His name in vain.
We fear not the first four commandments because they are towards God and are deeply spiritual. So often, the consequences do not show immediately or publicly, and no one holds us accountable except God and the people we share the same faith with. As for the rest, the world can hold us accountable so really it only comes down to how well you can get away with it. Honour your father and your mother is the fifth commandment. In the literal sense, every disobedience takes away some time off your life. This one is tricky because you are robbing yourself time. We may not be able to extend our days but surely the enemy is working very hard to make those days shorter and lessen the quality, for the Lord commands us to do so that it may be well with you in the land which He has given you.
You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal. These are the most common and universally condemned sins in the world, that is why the courts of law can hold us accountable to them. But if you look deeply, they are all taking something that is not theirs by law and by testimony. The consequences are almost always dependent on not getting caught. But whether you are taking a life or uncovering the nakedness of another whom the Lord has not united us with as one, it is all stealing. It is robbing the deceased and their loved ones of a future and the joy that comes from having them around, it is robbing one’s holiness. Someone said we get married not to find joy, but we get married to remain holy and that was completely sobering to me. Think of it, He has made everything beautiful in it’s time Ecclesiastes says, and if you can bear witness, everything that falls outside of that brings insecurity.
And the last two are You shall not bear false witness and You shall not covert. Words are a credit, whether a good or a bad credit it represents who you are. To exonerate Barnabas or to condemn Jesus, what justice are we standing in the way of. And when it comes to coveting, it has been the one sin I couldn’t understand how it translates to sin, but someone helped me understand that there is no problem with wanting good things, wanting to make things better or wanting to achieve something, if it makes you a better person, but if you look at what another person’s possessions and want what they have for yourself, then it becomes a sin. Satan committed this sin before his fall. He wanted to be the best even though by many counts he already was, then he wanted to be God. How easy it is to be obsessed with things or even people that do not belong with us, we idolize them and build our worlds around them. What were you willing to do to fit in a tortoise shell when you were a rabbit. At what lengths have you gone to get what you have now? What have you taken that doesn’t belong to you?
In conclusion, I have taken things that did not belong to me, and I have had things taken away from me. I have taken credit and praise on things I knew wasn’t by my might. I have robbed other people of joy, freedom and maybe even a future and hope, I have stood in other people’s way of salvation. Think of the things that were taken away from you, it could be a loved one or you were robbed of possessions, childhood, peace, and freedom. By not laying our burdens at the foot of the cross we deny ourselves freedom and the opportunity for God to be our Father in our time of need. Your life now, is a result of the decisions you made when safety was taken away from you. John 10:10 says for the thief does not comes except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Thus said, the two thieves on the cross truly represented sin, and the character of the enemy. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” says the Lord, and that’s the truth.