Friday, January 25, 2013

I am Barabbas

As the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion go, Pilate wanted nothing to do with this 'King of the Jews'. But Jesus was in the hands of the governor of Judea during the annual festival of the Passover. It was at this time that Pilate would allow a Jewish prisoner to be freed, pardoned so to speak. But here was this man who had committed no crime. In fact, He healed people. He gave life back to people. He taught the Law of Moses. What better time to free this prisoner who was a good man. Except the Jewish leadership wanted Him dead. So Pilate gave the people a choice, Jesus or Barabbas, a criminal, a known rioter. Surely no one would want an unrepentant thief back in the population. That is what prisons are for. But the crowd was adamant. Crucify Jesus! We want Barabbas!

So here is this criminal. Imagine what he is thinking. I am free. But another man will die instead of me. Bullocks! Did Barabbas turn to thank Jesus? Hey, governor, thanks for everything! Probably not. But he did live to see another day. And so do we!

Every day we wake up to a new day. If you are reading this, you woke up this morning. As Scripture says, God's mercies are new everyday.(Lam. 3:22-23) But one day Jesus died for you. Just like He did for Barabbas. You see, when we take an inventory of our life measuring it against the 10 Commandments, we fall short. Jesus reminds us in The Sermon on the Mount that whatever sinful thoughts we have makes us just as guilty as if we had committed the infraction. After all, it does point to our character. It's who we are! We are a member of a mob and Barabbas is one of us! Can we stand before a righteous God for the numerous times we helped ourselves to office supplies for our personal use? Thief! Or how about the envy we carry regarding another person's success! Thou shalt not covet! Or those daydreams of rolling in the hay with your friend's spouse! Adulterer! And if you are smiling because your God doesn't send anyone to hell, idolater! Everyone of us is just as guilty as Barabbas. While we may not be in prison, we will die. And where will you go when you die? Heaven or hell. If you think your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, think again. What murderer has ever used that as a defense in the courtroom. Really your honor, I only killed one man. Think of all the ones I let live? In the eyes of God our good deeds amount to nothing more than used tampons! (Isaiah 64:6, Really! Read it in the Hebrew!)

Approximately 2000 years ago a criminal deserving of the death penalty walked free because an innocent man took his place. Everyday we walk free as God gives us time to turn back and thank Him who died for all our sins. (2 Pet. 3:8-9)And how does that make you feel? Bullocks!