Christ crucified for sinners is the aid of God to man! There is life in no one else and in no other way than through the blood of Christ. On the cross Christ’s blood was shed to make an atonement, a propitiation, a satisfaction of the wrath of God for sinners. His blood was shed to reconcile God and man so that those in the empire of sin and darkness might have their chains broken, their yokes loosened, their souls freed, and be welcomed into the Kingdom of Light.
For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham
Hebrews 2:16 NKJV
The Need for Aid
What do you think about as the calendar moves closer to December 25th? Do you think of the lights, the manger, the angels, the birth of Christ? Do you think of gifts, wise men, shepherds, and barbaric kings? Do you think of your need for aid and that God gives aid? How often this month does the year 33 A.D. come to mind? Around that year two thieves and a King were nailed to crosses as they were crucified outside of Jerusalem. Why were they there?
2000 years ago the Roman Empire was in the Pax Romana (Roman Peace). There was economic prosperity as far as Roman legions could reach. There was expansion of roads, transportation, and communication. These things came at a high cost.
Caesar Augustus issued a decree that all the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1). If the taxes weren’t bad enough, corrupt tax collectors exacted more from the people (Luke 19:1-10). It was a time when Roman rulers could kill all the children within cities and kingdoms with impunity (Matthew 2:16-18). Violent uprisings took place (Matthew 27:16). Demon possession was rampant (Mark 9:17-29). Leprosy was common (Luke 17:11-19). The visible church was filled with unconverted leaders (John 3:1-21). The world in which those three men were dying on a hill was a world filled with sin, sorrow, sickness, and suffering. It was a world in need of aid.
God Gives Aid
Judea in the time of Christ was not the first time the world was covered in darkness. Since the earliest days of creation when the serpent beguiled Eve and she gave the fruit to Adam, darkness descended on earth. Adam lived for nearly a millennium but he died and his sons died. Beginning with Cain, people regularly shed innocent blood.
God saw the wickedness of man and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The Lord set himself to destroy man from off the face of the earth. But God spared Noah and his immediate family members from the destruction. He commanded Noah to make an ark and preach the Word. Noah did as the Lord commanded. While all the world perished including, in all likelihood, Noah’s own father (Genesis 5:31) and certainly his extended family, God spared eight souls alive in the ark. God gives aid.
Many years after Noah, in the capital of Assyria, every intention of the heart was once again only evil continually. 120,000 souls would be destroyed. God sent a reluctant prophet with a simple message – “yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). The people of Nineveh repented and God forgave them. He spared them from the destruction that was coming. God gives aid.
On that afternoon dark as night, Jerusalem was part of a vast empire greater than any Caesar could imagine. In the global empire of sin and darkness citizens lay chained to the pit of hell, hope is lost, and destruction awaits. All are guilty, none are righteous. Two thieves from the kingdom of darkness were crucified for the crimes they committed. However, few focused on those thieves as they walked by mocking, laughing, and scorning. They were mocking the man in the middle who had this inscription over His head, “The King of the Jews.”
He was hanging there bleeding from wounds in His head, hands, and feet. He did not receive those wounds for anything He had done. The Roman governor, not known for mercy, could not find fault with Him. No two witnesses could corroborate each other’s story. He hung there innocent of any crime or any sin. Passersby failed to grasp what most fail to grasp today – Jesus Christ hung on the cursed tree because God gives aid.
To Whom Does God Give Aid?
The thieves on either side of the King were not quiet in their dying hours. One of the thieves joined with the mob and soldiers, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” The other rebuked him telling him that he was on the cross for his crime while the sinless King was on the cross without any crime. Turning to Jesus the thief said, “Lord remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”
One thief recognized the justice of his terrible plight. He was a guilty sinner receiving his just reward. His only hope was mercy from another – namely the King of the Jews. The other thief was in the same position but couldn’t care less about mercy. To his dying breath he breathed out curses and mockery and died in his sin. To the one who looked to Jesus for help, he was not ashamed. Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
God gave aid to one thief. He did not give aid to both. His aid does not go to the seed of Adam generally but to the seed of Abraham specifically.