Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle.
It can hardly have been by chance that Jesus was placed in the midst. If three men were crucified together, surely he who was reckoned the chief offender would be put in the central position. The details of punishment would be left to the subordinates charged with carrying it out, and perhaps the feeling on the part of the soldiers was that one who claimed to be a King should have some sort of honor on the cross. But whoever ordered the position, and from whatever motive, we cannot but feel that the position was the right one. If intended as an insult, it has turned into an honor. The soldiers put Jesus just in the proper place. It was his place before, and has been his place since. It was right that, if others were to suffer with Jesus, he who suffered for all mankind should be able to look on a sufferer on either hand.
I. SOMETHING IN HARMONY WITH THE POSITION JESUS NATURALLY TAKES. Jesus never put himself officiously in a position of eminence. He never needed to say, "Leave the central place for me." Wherever he sat naturally became the central place. We cannot help putting Jesus in the midst. He acted in such a way that he could not help being the central character in every assembly. And this is the glorious thing about Jesus that, being the first, he has never lost his position in the midst. He is not so much above men as among them. Wheresoever two or three are gathered together he desires to be in their midst. Jesus, we may be sure, is interested in everything that ought to interest mankind. And in the same way we ought not to be interested in anything unless we can have Jesus in the enterprise.
II. AN EXAMPLE FOR US. There is not anything else in which we should follow the example of these soldiers, but we may well do it by always putting Jesus in the midst. And especially when we have to deal with sufferers of any sort, we should try to make them feel, by a remembrance of his position on the cross, that Jesus himself as a Sufferer was in the very midst of sufferers. And may it not be hoped that all evil-doers, all law-breakers, all suffering punishment for crime, will be particularly susceptible to the claims of Jesus, when it is made clear to them that in this emphatic way Jesus was "numbered with the transgressors"? - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.