Tuesday, May 9, 2017

six straight lines

The Word for today:
Luke 23:26-43
mark this: Luke 23:33, 39-43 --
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Take a look at the picture above. It will not be new to you. You've seen it a thousand times. You've seen it recreated on roadsides and billboards. Perhaps it has even found its way through the back door of your dreams.
If we were to graphically represent what life on earth boils down to, it would be just this: a central cross flanked by two other crosses, formed hieroglyphically by just six straight lines.
The psychologist C.J. Jung postulated that ideas, like DNA, are transmitted from generation to generation in the form of archetypes. These archetypes are derived from the experience of the race and are stored as images in the "unconscious" of each individual. If that is true, then six straight lines will stand as the archetype of archetypes.
In theatrical terminology, the three crosses are a tableau--a scene presented by silent and motionless actors, arranged to depict their essential relationships. The tableau freezes a moment in time, producing a photographic effect on the stage.
Six straight lines paint the essential picture of our earthly experience: the Savior, with a thief on either side. Numbered with the transgressors (1), he was one of us. But two of the six lines are longer, for his cross was "bigger," somehow. It must be, for the sin of the whole world was hung upon it.
The thieves represent the varying answers to the central issue of our existence:
"But who do you say that I am?" (Luke 9:20)
One thief just saw somebody dying. One thief saw something else.
We're introduced to the two thieves far before they appear at Golgotha in tableau. We saw them in Cain and Abel, on the Bible's first pages.
We saw them in Jacob and Esau; in David and Saul; in Peter and Judas Iscariot.
In Solomon, we saw the two thieves in one man. We do not know which of the thieves prevailed in Solomon's spirit; but we will find out, by and by.
John the Baptist looked at Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of he world."
Pontius Pilate looked at Jesus and said, "Behold the man."
Each of us appears in the tableau. Which thief are you? Which thief am I? We will all find out, by and by.
(1) Isaiah 53:12

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