From The Salvation Army:
Jesus was a criminal. He was arrested, tried by the legal system of the day, deemed guilty by a selection of the public, and was tortured and executed by the state authority. That he was innocent, the victim of an unjust legal system, does not change the fact that he was, in his time, a convicted and punished criminal. He suffered a criminal’s death between two thieves whom he spoke to and with whom he identified. One of the criminals was promised a place with him in paradise that very day.
…I’m not sure how deeply it has hit home that Jesus actually chose to identify fully with the criminal, with the prisoner. We talk of Jesus’ incarnation – his putting on of human flesh – and we are all generally familiar with the story of his death, but I wonder if repeated hearings have dulled the brutal shock of it. The King of Kings did not just descend to earth to live a human life. He descended and became a criminal, rejected, humiliated, beaten, imprisoned, killed. He chose that way, so that no one could ever scream out, “God doesn’t understand!”
Jesus went through the worst, and identified with those the rest of the world thought were just good enough to spit on. Even more than this, Jesus said that whenever we see a prisoner, we see him. Whenever we visit someone in prison, we are in fact visiting the Son of God (See Matthew 25: 31-46). Through those bars, behind that Plexiglas window, in the face of the frightened, the convicted, we are somehow meant to see the face of our Lord. This is powerful grace.
Clinton: Immigration Bill Would Make Jesus a Criminal – [NYSun]