I Am Barabbas!
I rejoice every time the Holy Spirit sees fit to reveal some new truth to me. It certainly isn’t due to my being a ‘good person’. It’s such a tragedy that so many sinners feel they must first ‘get their lives in order’ before they pursue God. You see, as counterintuitive as it may seem, if even one of us were any good God would not have anything to offer us.
If only this fact that none of us are any good would truly permeate the hearts of those who seek God, damnable heresies would not be the spiritual epidemics they are today. Prosperity preaching, Eternal Security and even the Hebrew Roots cult, who in trying to keep the Law spits on the cross of Christ would be vanquished. The Laodicean church needs a complete attitude change before it is too late! (read Revelation 3:14-22 KJV)
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will
come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
So, you think you’re a ‘King’s kid’? Well guess what? Our king lived a poor man’s life and died in the most horrible way imaginable. And He seeks followers who are willing to do the same. Re-read the verse above; Jesus didn’t say to take up your jet airplanes, fancy stadiums or Gold Cadillacs! Have you who believe in these things no discernment?
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not
one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Those who shrug and use the term ‘Once a son, always a son’ to dismiss their sinful behavior expose their utter disregard for the holiness of the Father. How so? Because a blasé attitude towards our inherent sin nature reveals that they have either never had a genuine salvation experience, or have fallen away from the faith, perhaps even beyond redemption. They dare to compare themselves to the prodigal son with such wording, but there is an intrinsic attitude difference between them.
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy
You see, with God it is the condition of our hearts that matters most. The Prodigal son was contrite, and respectful of his father. And of course, he repented, which means he not only said he was sorry, but also had the intention of changing his way. The Father is so eager to forgive a remorseful heart, look at the next verse:
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the
best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his
feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be
merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is
found. And they began to be merry.
None of us are, or ever become worthy to be called sons of God. People with the King's kid mentality just don't get that. 'Give me!' and 'Mine!' they plead, just like little spoiled brats. But even so, God doesn’t sit up in Heaven looking to beat us up over our weaknesses and failings. He is more merciful than any of us truly deserve. He understands our weaknesses, even to the point of sending Jesus to die for us so that the Godhead would all know what it feels like to be a man, firsthand.
But to further illustrate the plight of the Prodigal son we see in the last verse that while he had abandoned his Father to lead a life of wonton sin, he was considered dead to Him. If you are living in sin and know you are not right with God, I plead with you this very moment to return to the Father’s house before it is too late. Every breath we breathe, every beat of our hearts is a gift from God.
Lord, I pray that you have mercy on those reading this out there, and break any spiritual bondage they may be in. You did so for me, when I certainly didn’t deserve it. Soften their hearts Lord, and give them a Godly fear for their soul condition by your precious Holy Spirit right now I ask, AMEN!
But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I
release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests
had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he
should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again
unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King
of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him.
Now forward onto the tale of Barabbas. Here is a man that was enslaved to sin; destined for death and most likely Hell. He was a murderer, which I think we can agree is about as bad as a man can get. Scripture tells us that he was held in bondage (Mark 15:7 KJV). Meanwhile, on the other side of the scale is Jesus Christ, a man who kept the Law perfectly, because that is what He came down to do. He did not sin, not even once, in the decades that He was on this planet. In the frenzy of the Pharisees’ (synagogue of Satan) jealousy and hatred of Jesus, who they knew perfectly well was the Son of God, they stirred up the people to pardon Barabbas and crucify Jesus. But guess what? By doing so, they did exactly as God wanted!
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for
ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
The sins of a miserable wretch were forgiven. Why? Because although he was completely guilty and undeserving of mercy, another man willingly died in his place. Sound familiar yet? You and I are Barabbas, everyone who was ever born was and is Barabbas. Jesus went to that cross for not just Barabbas’ sake, but for the sake of the sins of the whole world. Jesus died so that we could all be released from bondage to the Law, just as Barabbas was released from his bonds. Glory to God! All we need do is realize He died for us, repent of our sins and begin to follow Christ.
How I would love to have been a fly on the wall when Barabbas was set free. Sentenced to die, surely he imagined they were coming to take him to the death he most assuredly deserved on that cross. I can imagine the confusion he experienced when instead of being brought to Golgotha, his bonds were removed. Did he ask why this was happening? Or did he just high-tail it out of there? Scripture doesn’t record this; however, it seems to me that at some point he was told that a man named Jesus took his place. I would like to think he went on to learn more about Jesus Christ, and perhaps even came to accept His dying on the cross not just for his physical salvation that day, but his eternity.
There is something very important I must add to this article about salvation, something that is not taught in many of the churches. When we make a sincere decision to follow Christ, we must understand that our ‘old man’ still exists. Yes, Paul told us that we are to reckon our ‘old man’ dead (Romans 6:11 KJV), however Satan is constantly scheming to raise up the person we once were. Let’s look at some scripture:
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else
the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but
they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
I never understood what the whole thing about new and old wineskins was all about until our precious Holy Spirit illuminated my understanding. The ‘new wine’ represents Him, the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the ‘new wine’ it is put in new wineskins; that is to say, a new heart is created in us (Psalms 51:10 KJV). Our ‘old man’ which resides in the old wineskin is not defeated as of yet, but displaced. That is because if God put that new man (Holy Spirit) into our old sinful hearts it couldn’t contain it, but would burst!
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our
tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in
doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These
men are full of new wine.
Again, in the book of Acts we see new wine connected with the infilling of the Holy Spirit. It is no coincidence that they accused the men in the upper room who were filled with the Holy Spirit of being drunk on ‘new wine’; because spiritually speaking they were!
But the point of me bringing this up is to point out a sobering fact. Our old man, and the new man we are in Christ co-exist in a constant tug of war for our attention. To be ‘in Christ’ we must consciously choose to always feed the new man and reckon the old one dead (the flesh) by starving and ignoring him. This is quite often very hard to do. We will inevitably often stumble and fall in doing this (1John 1:8 KJV). What we must do is plead forgiveness and dust ourselves off and continue to follow Christ, no matter how bad we have screwed up.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their
knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which
are not convenient;
Those who become reprobate in the faith (fallen from faith) do so because they have completely given up feeding their new man (fasting, praying, repenting, bible reading etc.) and instead given themselves over to a reprobate mind, which means they no longer have any conviction of sin or desire to serve God. Scripture is clear; eternal security is a lie from the pit of Hell! Only those who endure to the end shall be saved (Mark 13:13 KJV)!
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