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The Wednesday Word: Barabbas and the Gospel

December 5, 2018 6 comments

And so Pilate, … released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, … to be crucified (Mark 15:6-15).

Pilate freed Barabbas, the felon, and sent Jesus to the cross.

Pilate, as you remember, had no love for Barabbas, but wanted to save Jesus. So, he hit on the idea of offering the people a choice between the two men. It was customary to free a prisoner at the time of the Feast of Passover; so, Pilate asked the crowd, “Which of the two do you want me to release?” (Matthew 27:21-22).

He was astonished when the people enthusiastically called out, “Barabbas!”

Who was Barabbas?

To the Romans, Barabbas was a terrorist who had committed murder during a rebellion (Mark 15:7). John adds that Barabbas was also a robber (John 18:40).

The name Barabbas is interesting. It means “son of the father.” Some suggest that it means son of a Rabbi. If so, Barabbas was a preacher’s kid! … and so was John Wesley Hardin…one of the most notorious killers of the Wild West.

Barabbas had been condemned to die. He was a rebel against the law, a robber and a murderer. And now the outraged law had apprehended him and he’s on Death Row.

BTW,…everyone reading this who has not come to Christ as a hell-deserving sinner looking for mercy is sitting on death row. You are not on probation but under damnation.

Suddenly, people were calling his name, “Barabbas! Barabbas!” The next thing he heard was a crowd yelling, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Perhaps, he thinks it’s a lynch mob. He’s terrified. Then, he hears the prison door slowly opening and a bewildered guard said, “Barabbas! There’s a man named Jesus who is going to die in your place. He is going to be nailed to your cross. You are free to go.

As Barabbas emerged from the jail, the crowd was surging toward Calvary. And legend has it that Barabbas followed them. Think of it, he hears the hammer and knows that the blows that are fastening Jesus to the cross were meant for him. He knows that, quite literally, he, Barabbas, is the one who should be executed.

Barabbas, as he looked at Jesus on the cross, must have received a clear understanding of the Gospel. He must have thought,

“That man took my place.

I am the one who should have died.

I am the condemned murderer.

That man did nothing wrong.

He is dying instead of me.”

Barabbas sees Christ upon his cross. After that, he had no need to go to seminary to understand the Doctrine of Substitution.

Barabbas knew that he was a guilty, worthless wretch, under the condemnation of the law.

Barabbas saw the meaning of the cross. Jesus was actually dying in his place. Barabbas would have known that he had done nothing whatever to deserve Christ dying in his place. He knew that Christ’s death for Him was an act of pure, undeserved grace.

Because of the cross, Barabbas was free from the penalty of the Law. Suppose a soldier had recognized Barabbas and tried to arrest him. He legally could not have done it! Barabbas was a free man. The substitute had died in his place.

All Barabbas would have needed to say was ‘Jesus has died for me.’ Likewise, when the Law points its condemning finger and says we’re guilty…we point toward Jesus and say…He died for me….and I am free!

Remember this, if sin speaks louder in our conscience than Christ, it is because we have taken our eyes off the Gospel.

To be frank, I’ve never liked Barabbas. I wanted the crowd to yell,

“Release Jesus!”

“Crucify Barabbas!”

But instead, they roared for the opposite.

Barabbas, a villain, was set free and Jesus took his place. I hate that.

But, when I look inside myself I realize I am Barabbas. I’m in the same shoes. And you are Barabbas, too. We’re the guilty ones. We’re the scoundrels, but we go free because Jesus died in our place.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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Of Sin

OF SIN

SIN is the great block and bar to our happiness, the procurer of all miseries to man, both here and hereafter. Take away sin, and nothing can hurt us; for death, temporal, spiritual and eternal, is the wages of it.

Sin, and man for sin, is the object of the wrath of God. How dreadful therefore must his case be who continues in sin! for who can bear or grapple with the wrath of God!

No sin against God can be of little; because it is against the great God of heaven and earth; but if the sinner can find out a little God, it may be easy to find out little sins.

Sin turns all God’s grace into wantonness: it is the dare of his justice, the rape of his mercy, the jeer of his patience, the slight of his power, and the contempt of his love.

Take heed of giving thyself liberty of committing one sin, for that will lead thee to another, till by an ill custom it become natural.

To begin a sin is to lay a foundation for a continuance: this continuance is the mother of custom, and impudence at last the issue.

The death of Christ giveth us the best discovery of ourselves, in what condition we were in that nothing could help us but that; and the most clear discovery of the dreadful nature of our sins: for if sin be so dreadful a thing as to wring the heart of the Son of God, how shall a poor wretched sinner be able to bear it?

Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings

Question 67-Puritan Catechism

Spurgeon 3Q. What does every sin deserve?

A. Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, both in this life and that which is to come. (Ephesians 5:6; Psalm 11:6)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

 

Question 66-Puritan Catechism

April 10, 2014 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeonQ. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?

A. Some sins in themselves, and by reason of various aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others. (John 19:11; 1 John 5:15)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

Question 16-Puritan Catechism

Spurgeon 316. Q. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?

A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery. (Romans 5:18)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

Question 14-Puritan Catechism

April 11, 2013 1 comment

CharlesSpurgeon14. Q. What is sin?

A. Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of the law of God. (1 John 3:4)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

Can you subscribe to this great truth?

April 1, 2013 1 comment

fullerConcerning the Gospel, Andrew Fuller asked:

Can you subscribe to this great truth, in all its hearings, and rest the salvation of your soul upon it; or do you doubt whether you be so guilty, so helpless, or in so dangerous a state as this doctrine supposes? Is it as one of the chief of sinners that you view yourself; or does it grate upon our feelings to receive forgiveness in that humble character? In suing for mercy, are you content to stand on the same low ground as if you were a convict actually going to be executed; or does your heart secretly pine after salvation less humiliating, in which some account might be made of that difference of character by which you may have been distinguished from the vilest of men, and in which you might be in some degree a co-operator with God? Does that which pleases God, please you; or does your mind revolt at it? It meets all your wants, but none of your prejudices, and proud thoughts, or vicious propensities; all these must come down and be made to sacrifice to it. Can you subscribe to it on these terms?

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered