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“He loves you. God knew you were going to be messy. God knows that you are going to screw up. That’s what the cross is all about. You are going to fail, and stumble, and feel dirty and awkward. The whole point of the cross of Christ is that there be this mighty picture of His love and pursuit of you despite you. The cross is necessary because of you but it is also the picture we have of how far God is willing to go because He loves you. “
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens tome." "What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?" They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion. John 18:37-40
the great exchange.
Jesus, the perfect sinless Saviour in exchange for Barabbas, the guilty rebellious sinner.
in a way, we’re ALL Barabbas.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a scandalous message.
It’s a shocking revelation.
It’s a prophetic declaration.
It’s a transforming proclamation.
It’s a soul-saving truth and it is the power of God for all who believe.
The Gospel is a message about God:
The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He is perfect in all His attributes, blameless in all His ways, righteous in all His judgments. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is strong, mighty, holy, just, wrathful, vengeful, and jealous. He is caring, patient, compassionate, merciful, gracious, loving, and forgiving. God is good.
The Gospel is a message about Man:
Created in God’s image—created good: yet fallen, disobedient, rebellious, corrupt, proud, wicked, evil, sinful, unholy, unrighteous, ungodly, guilty, helpless, hopeless, lost, condemned, separate from God and destined for eternal punishment in the torments of hell.
The Gospel is a message about Jesus Christ:
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The anointed one of God who saves. Born of a virgin; killed on a cross; resurrected on the third day. Beloved by the Father, yet smitten by Him for our transgressions. Perfectly innocent, yet punished by God for our wickedness.
Jesus Christ is the only way to forgiveness. The only way to reconciliation, restoration, and redemption. The only way to eternal hope and true meaning and real purpose. The only way to lasting joy and enduring happiness and endless pleasure. The only way to salvation. The only way to heaven. The only way to God’s grace.
Barabas by Caleb and Sol read more at their blogspot – Caleb and Sol Barabas
Jesus Is__ the Music Project has an amazing preach/song about barabbas that so … *touched isnt the right word – stirred… provoked… spoke to my heart
there is no record of the response barabbas makes to the exchange
no record of a changed life, a redeemed life
no barabbas the preacher, barabbas the evangelist, barabbas the disciple
jesus knew that God had to treat jesus like barabbas so that barabbas could be treated like jesus
barabbas thought that the people set him free, that the people secured his release
but it was the love of God that freed him
just as it is the love of God that frees us and saves us
just as it is Jesus exchanged for me and me for Jesus
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us
we are all guilty in need of a saviour, in need of freedom, in need of forgiveness.
and it plays out so dramatically in the exchange of Barabbas for Jesus.
help me, Lord, to always remember that i am ransomed… that though i was undeserving of your grace, you freely exchanged yourself and laid your life down for my salvation.
In communion we remember the sacrifice of Jesus and all it has won for us.
I can’t get past how Colossians 1 says it:
God himself was pleased
to live fully in his Son.
And God was pleased
for him to make peace
by sacrificing his blood
on the cross,
so that all beings in heaven
and on earth
would be brought back to God.
You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. (Colossians 1:19-22)
Before we were lost.
Now we are found.
Before we were separated from God because of sin.
Now we are able to stand in His presence, holy, clean, new, innocent.
Before we were rejected.
Now we are accepted.
Before we were sinners.
Now we are family.
Not because of anything we have done or could do. But all because of what Jesus did.
At communion we remember that Jesus stretched His arms out upon the cross – after being beaten, whipped, mocked, spat on, unjustly convicted – He stretched His arms out as a declaration of Love. I Love you this much!
His death makes the way – makes us found, holy, acceptable, family.
We know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 peter 1:18-19
In Revelation 5 the elders and angels are declaring the wonder of who Jesus is, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, the one who is worthy, the mighty glorious awesome powerful one… and they worshipped Him “because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9
At communion we remember that Jesus died and won. That He died and won a great victory over satan and sin and death! He won the victory that sets us free to be holy and righteous! He sets us free to know our Heavenly Father and to belong with Him forever beginning right now!
Let us remember what He died for and lets LIVE in the reality of the victory! Knowing God. Being loved by Him.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, Hebrews 10:19-23
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
Usually communion is quite solemn as we come and Jesus’ sacrifice, but yesterday as I was praying about what to share and say a particular song was playing – and my heart was just again overwhelmed with awe and love and rejoicing at what Jesus won for us – so I invite you to come and and CELEBRATE communion with thankful hearts – with thankful lives – rejoicing in all that Jesus died for – our redemption – our restoration – our reconciliation!
God because of the imputed righteousness of Christ to me and his wrath absorbing death on the cross and his resurrection now sees me as perfect and spotless and holy, not because i am but because HE IS
~ Matt Chandler
Pilate brought Jesus outside and said to the people, “Look at your king!”
At this they shouted, “Away with him! Crucify him!”
Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified
“Behold your King” is such a powerful declaration. Especially if you let yourself think what Jesus must of looked like at that time. Beaten. Broken. Thorny crown. Whipped. Spat on. Mocked. Strong. Surrendered. Submitted. Sacrificing. Saving. Saviour.
Throughout his trial Jesus remained committed to the will of God and the heart of God. He continued to act with grace and holiness, surrender and obedience to the call of God.
On a tangent: I was thinking today that the out working of our christianity isn’t just in the big moral decisions (adultary, stealing, murder etc) but in the day to day how we choose to act and react in our families and with our friends. Do we yell at our kids or extend grace? Are we patient or kind or do we let that unkind word slip out? Do we allow discouragement to defeat us or continue to have faith in God? In the same way Jesus made the choices to remain sinless and surrendered to God. At any point he could have lashed out and taken his life back from those he was giving it to….
John 10:17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I might take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down from Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment from My Father.
The thing that really strikes me is just the process of sacrifice that Jesus went through. It was a continual process of laying his life down. It wasn’t easy. And he did it for the sake of love.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.
Love is demonstrated in the sacrifice of Jesus. It is demonstrated in the life of Jesus.
All that Jesus suffered was for our sake. For our redemption. For our salvation. Each whip and mock and spit was so I can be called a child of God. My sin also spat, whipped and mocked Jesus. I am responsible. And I am forgiven.
We sing a song in our young adults service called SEE HIS LOVE, by Jesus Culture. its chorus declares :
This is Jesus in His glory
King of Heaven dying for me
It is finished, He has done it
Death is beaten, Heaven beckons me
See His love nailed onto a cross
Perfect and blameless life given as sacrifice
See Him there all in the name of love
Broken yet glorious, all for the sake of us
It was a great price that redeemed us. It was a great price that was paid for our forgiveness. It was a great price paid for us to be made acceptable to God. It was a great price paid so we could know His love and be blessed to be called His children.
Let us live our lives responding with love and surrender to God, living in response to His great love that was poured out upon the cross. THough we can never earn or repay His love and favour, we can live responding to His love. What a great price was paid for our love. Jesus gave it all. He suffered and died.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.
A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy!
i had to google it. a friend was asking on facebook this morning.
but it sparked something in me…
what is the dangerous disease our world faces today? seperation from God, sin, lostness…
what was the remedy for our sin? the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God, upon the brutal cross in crucifixion.
and what is our response to this… that we should lay own lives down, that we should live our lives radically for the Gospel of Good News, that we should be ambassadors of reconcilliation, witnesses to this generation of the great love of God!
we overcome by the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony and that we love our lives not… revelation 11:12
our lives are not our own. we were brought with a price. the blood of the sinless perfect amazing Jesus who gave His life to pay for my sin.
we should live our lives by faith in Jesus, following His call, following His purpose and plan.
not dangerously for the sake of danger, but unrelentless and poured out.
dont be conformed to the pattern of this world, complacent, quiet, tolerant… but lets stand and shine and declare the grace of God, lets demonstrate His kindness and love.
a desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy – God has done it all, He made the way, He made the way for redemption and cure. the cure is found – lets tell the good news!
he wore a crown of thorns for me
he bore the nails for me
he paid the price for me
he was punished for me
he came and lived for me
and he died for me
there are no words to measure how great his love is towards me
but there are scars
that prove the price he paid
The time had come for the fight of the ages
Nailed to a cross, Your love embraced us
Shedding perfect blood, You shook the earth and drew Your final breath
Through the hours, we watched and we cried as
You paid the ransom for Your Bride and
Looked in her eyes and said, “My love for you is stronger than death”
Your body broken, the veil was torn away
We will enter in by a new and living way
Hallelu – jah, the Lamb of God has overcome
Three days to beat the grave and win me back
It is fin – ished, the Lamb of God has overcome
Jesus, Your love for us is stronger than death
You are not your own? For you were bought at a price ; You were rescued from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever. You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb ; so it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
linking 1 Peter 1:19, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Galatians 2:20