When I started this blog I thought that I would treat issues from the Philosophies, Sciences, Politics, Life, and Religion equally. All of them are interesting to me and all of them are equally important in defining who we are as a person, as a nation, and as people of this world.
As it turns out though, I have gravitated more towards religion than any of the other studies. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is you, the people I perceive that actually take the time to read my musings. When I look at the stats for this blog, the readership is heavily slanted towards foreign visits. United States of America visits do not even comprise half of the readership here. At least according to the WEB statistics.
And while I find politics immensely interesting, I am only exposed to a couple of political factions in the world. Those here in the U.S. and those of the Philippines. Perhaps to some small extent those of Great Britain, but only because of the close history shared between them and the U.S. and definitely not from an understanding of the political culture in the country on a day-to-day basis.
I am not sure I could adequately represent U.S. politics in such a way as to gain interest or engagement from such a diverse international readership as the stats of this blog indicate.
We do all share a common ground however. And that is Religion. And it is only natural that I would weight my discussions towards religion. Because our religion is what will set our biases and our beliefs towards our purpose, as humans here on this planet, and how we establish a moral and ethical code of conduct, both to ourselves, our God (if we believe in one), and to each other. We ALL have a religion. Even if you are atheist, it is still your religion. Atheism influences your. All the religions of the world influence people in their understanding of life, their purpose, and their obligations to themselves and one another. Agnostics practice a religion, as do people of great faith. We all are bound to one religion or another whether we recognize it or not.
One religion however has a seminal event that had a great impact on the entire world and stood the test of time and spanned the ages and continues to guide the course of human events even today.
That religion is Christianity and the event is the Cross. We’ve marked time by it. We’ve defined faiths by it. We’ve ostensibly fought wars because of it. And we’ve tortured and created martyrs over it. It is a symbolism that is recognized the world over and brings a controversy and impact with it wherever it goes like no other event in history.
What is amazing to me is that those who would stamp out the controversy of the Cross are not amazed by the impact it has made the world over. How is it that one man, the person of Jesus Christ, and one death upon the Cross has brought us to the point we are at in the world today? How is it that the more the world tries to erase its very existence from human history, the more those that cling to it strengthen their grip? How is it that a seemingly insignificant event, that of a man being executed upon a Cross could make such an impact upon the entire world?
There have been many executions throughout human history. Many of them famous ones. I could surely name some that the vast majority of people the world over would be familiar with. But none of them would compare to one event, some two thousand years ago, that has defined the course of human history. How is that? And how are people not amazed and in wonderment of that? How is it the very executioners of Jesus Christ themselves thought his claim of being the Son of God must be true (Matthew 27:54)? How is it this one event has reverberated through the annuals of time unless Jesus Christ were true to his claim and he really is the Son of the Most High God?
But the point I want to get to today is that there were at least three crosses upon that hill (that we are told about). There was a cross to the left and a cross to the right of Jesus (Mathew 27:38). Three individuals were crucified that day. And history records all three. The other two are known as malefactors or thieves. Today, in most western cultures, and quite a few eastern cultures as well, we would hardly execute someone for the crime of stealing. Here in the U.S.A. it is not uncommon for thieves to receive a monetary fine and a few years in jail (Source: FindLaw.com and Laws.com). Certainly a far cry from execution, let alone execution upon a Cross.
The interesting thing to me is that both of the individuals are identified as thieves. They were both guilty of the exact same crime. Kind of like you and me. We are all guilty of violating God’s law (Romans 3:23). We have all stolen from God the glory that is rightfully His. We have all stolen the sovereignty that He and He alone deserves. We have all stolen the allegiance that the creation owes the creator from an Almighty God. And like the two thieves that hung on their cross on either side of Jesus Christ, we hang in the balance on one side of the Cross or the other.
Each of the two thieves had a different mindset towards Jesus Christ as he hung on the Cross (Luke 23:39-43). One of them feared God. One did not. One of them was responded to. One was not. One of them recognized that they were both in a common conviction (justly) of their sins while Jesus Christ was not. The other simply mocked and ridiculed him.
There are two sides of the Cross. And the dividing line is the outstretched arms of Jesus Christ. There is no middle ground. Jesus Christ himself, and He alone occupies the middle ground. And we are all (every man, woman, child, every human being that ever has, ever will, and who today exists upon the face of this earth) on one side of that Cross or the other.
My question is: Which side of the Cross are YOU on? I’m on the side of the thief who begged that Jesus Christ, Lord, would remember me in the Heavenly Kingdom (Luke 23:42). I pray that you would come to stand on the same side as well.