THE AMAZING GRACE OF GOD!
Now it was the governor’s custom at the feast to release to the crowd a prisoner of their choosing. At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. So when the crowd had assembled, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered terribly in a dream today because of Him.” But the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death. “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they replied. “What then should I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify Him!” “Why?” asked Pilate. “What evil has He done?” But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify Him!” When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but that instead a riot was breaking out, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “You bear the responsibility.” All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified. —Matthew 27:15-25
(Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) —Luke 23:19
Barabbas was a violent murderer and the crowd yelled for his release and screamed to crucify Jesus in the stead of Barabbas. They wanted to kill the spotless, innocent Lamb of God and have the guilty, wicked Barabbas go free!
The spotless Lamb of God dying in the stead of we guilty, wicked sinners. He died in our in our place. He suffered the wrath of God in our stead. What we need to understand about this though is that in His death He took the punishment, the judgment for our sin. Sin is an eternal issue. If I only sinned one time in my whole life and yet never called on Jesus to be saved from my sin (Romans 10:13), that one sin would send me to hell forever! It took the eternal Spotless, innocent, perfect Son and Lamb of God to take away the eternal curse of sin, judgment, death and hell. How amazing is this!? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgsbaBIaoVc
Jesus was bullied, beaten, brutalized and banished to the cross for “not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2). We cannot begin to imagine the horrors of our Lord’s sacrifice. Not only did He take the horrible penalty for our sins and the world’s, but “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried” (Isaiah 53:4). The sorrows and griefs of the whole world He also bore! That is a lot of pain and “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Joy! We will be with Jesus forever in that perfect place! This is what He has done for us! Does that not give you great joy now and think of the absolute joy we will have when we are with Him in glory! If this does not give you joy, then you have not even begun to understand what Jesus has done in “God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” (Acts 2:23) for us. Wow!
Dear Father my heart is full at the purposes You have fulfilled, are fulfilling and will fulfill for Your glory. Thank You for the grace and mercy You have shown to me through Your gifts, Your Son, Your Spirit and Your Word. May I be lovingly faithful to You!