Are we any different from Barabbas?

April 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.

“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.

“Crucify him!” they shouted.

“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
(Mark 15:6-15 (NIV))

Tonight, I was presented something that made me look at this in a different light and with a different perspective.

What do you think of Barabbas?

Have you often thought that he deserved to die? Have you ever wondered how the crowd could be so stupid and request the release of a murderer over Jesus?

We all know that it was God’s plan for Jesus to suffer and to go to the cross and die for our sins, but have you ever stopped to realize that Barabbas was a picture of the grace that Jesus would bring to everyone?

We do not know if Barabbas repented and accepted the true grace and mercy that Jesus came to bring, but he had that opportunity. Jesus went to the cross so that Barabbas might live and have that opportunity.

Are we any different from Barabbas?

In the eyes of humanity, our sins may not be as great as his, but in the eyes of God, we are just as guilty of sin as Barabbas was. Didn’t he deserve the chance to repent? Didn’t he deserve the chance to know the grace and mercy that God offers through the death of Jesus on the cross? God loves each and every individual that has ever walked the earth or ever will walk the earth. Jesus came to bring the gift of salvation to everyone and not just the ones that society thinks are the good people.

With the somber reality of the crucifixion rapidly approaching, we, as the Body of Christ, must come to terms with the fact that Jesus died for everyone. Just because you may think that someone is too far gone into their life of sin does not mean that the gift that Jesus died to offer is not available to them.

Would you be surprised to find Barabbas in heaven? Would you rejoice in his salvation? Would you rejoice in the salvation of those whom society considers too far gone to redeem?

Are you any different from Barabbas?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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True life is through His blood

November 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood–I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood.”
(Leviticus 17:10-12 (NIV))

Life is in the blood, and Jesus freely gave His blood (His life) for us. We partake of this life through the symbolic blood of communion. But, this is not the true symbol of our redemption. It is possible to partake of the symbolic blood of communion without having taken part in the spilled blood of Jesus’ gift of His life for our sins.

Perhaps it is communion that makes many people, including those of the Jewish faith, to shy away from belief in Jesus. After all, the thought of drinking blood is repulsive to most people even if it is only symbolic.

Just what is it that Jesus has given us? Life IS in the blood. Jesus freely shed His blood for us so that we may have eternal life. Jesus often set the traditions upside down. Perhaps it is for this reason that He chose to use the symbol of blood as the outward symbol of salvation. Accepting Jesus requires accepting all of Him, including the blood. If we can get past our societal hang-ups about the one, then we can accept the other, after all, when Jesus walked the earth, He often taught against the traditions of society without fully understanding the reasons behind them.

Have you freely accepted the blood of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is all of these things and more!

October 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
(Revelation 1:5-6 (NIV))

Does this sound like the little baby that we all think of at Christmas time? Does this sound like the gentle and wise teacher who walked among us for some thirty years? Does this sound like the man who willingly went to the cross for our sins? Does this sound like the resurrected Jesus that all of the disciples saw?

Jesus is all of these things and more!

We envision Jesus as we have been taught to envision Him. We have been taught based on written, first hand accounts from reliable witnesses that we believe to be honest and true.

Why do we have such a difficult time seeing Jesus in the role that He plays in Revelation?

Is it because it has not happened yet and we do not have any point of reference from other people?

Think about that question. Sadly, it is human nature to believe when we have the witness of other people to corroborate and prove us right. Why do we ignore all of the promises that God has made that have come true? Why do we not hold fast to the Word of God as a testimony to what will come? Are we, the Body of Christ, still too focused on the physical world to fully rely on our faith in God’s promises?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

What kind of faith do we have if we don’t believe God?

Do you believe that Jesus is coming again?

Do you believe that He will be King of kings and Lord of lords?

Do you believe that he is coming in power and might?

It is time that we, as the Body of Christ, start acting out what we believe. Our faith is urgently needed.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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