Jesus hangs on a cross, a cross that crosses to greater and grander perspectives. Jesus unites two perspectives through and because of his death. The cross becomes not only an object to destroy but also a means to unite. Heaven/Earth, Sin/Grace, Redemption/Judgment.
Evil or shortcomings or weakness or sin or the blind spots in our lives – whatever you wish to call them – can only survive in a vacuum. To stay alive it only needs itself, no oxygen or input. No ventilation to open eyes or hearts. It can only live on its own terms, it’s own limited and narrow perspective. That’s why as often as “denial” is thrown at us during a personal discussion or argument our evil or sin cannot allow any new information or broadening to be planted in our hearts. It can only live within its own container. Whether we call this newness grace or information it is the process that opens that tightly held lid and breaks the container that keeps us from being more than we are or said spiritually, “blessed by God.”
The “unrepentant thief” (no doubt on Jesus’ left side, the left always lose) is so boxed in by his beliefs that no graceful air could ever enter his soul. He cannot understand why Jesus isn’t doing what he wants to do himself, jump off that cross, kill the Roman soldiers and claim kingship for himself. The other “thief” (he’s the one of the “right” side) denounces the lefty guy for missing the whole story, the whole of their lives. He recognizes his evil or weakness and appeals to Jesus to make him bigger in the next life than the small life he lived here. His wish is granted by the man who crosses over.
Jesus crosses over and offers both what he’s sacrificed. Evil only knows the closed, goodness only knows the possibilities and breath and depth our lives. No matter the smallest shortcoming or the ugliest of sin, Jesus crosses over and continually invites, urges and prays for us to cross over to always the greater possibilities of this great gift of life.