Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
— Matthew 27:38

It’s important to note that our use of the words king and kingdom can be misleading when we talk about God and Jesus. These words that are so familiar to us may get us in the ballpark of understanding—but just barely. That’s because Jesus is not like other kings, and the kingdom of God is not like other kingdoms.
The mother of James and John finds this out when she asks Jesus for a favor. She’s proud of her boys. So she asks Jesus to give them the top spots in his kingdom, to make them his right-hand and left-hand men. But Jesus says no; those places are already reserved. We gain a hint of what that means when we learn later that two rebels are crucified on either side of Jesus. So cross and kingdom are connected.
Other kings would take up a sword and lead an army against the enemies of their people. But Jesus is not like other kings. He deals with great enemies by letting himself be defeated by them on the cross. Then that cross becomes the sign of the kingdom of God, which is not like other kingdoms. Because in the kingdom of God “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
So whenever you see one of those roadside displays of three crosses, remember that Jesus and his kingdom are not like anything else in this world.

Jesus, I’m usually ashamed when I’m weak. So I try to act strong. Help me to trust that your power is made perfect in weakness, even in my weakness. Amen.

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