Barabbas for Jesus

Matthew 27:20 - But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

Of late there was this sister born in a Christian family, who came from South Africa on a business trip to India. She met a Muslim preacher here and got converted to Islam. It was not that she changed in a single day; it was over a period of time that something was accumulating inside her which was touched upon by the preacher.

As to what I found out there were 2 factors which caused her to give up on her belief. The first was the people in her congregation and second was her knowing Jesus.

In her congregation she saw the people living a live void of moral values. They used to be extra social so much so that the Church leaders themselves used to drink alcohol openly at parties and encouraging others also to do so. What dwelled among them was not Christ Spirit the Holy Spirit.

The other factor which was a more serious factor was that she could not digest the fact that Jesus died for her sins. She would wonder how another person's suffering and death give her life.

The second factor itself showed that she was not a Christian. And the first factor also showed that her congregation was never a Church.

A Church does not mean people coming together on Sundays and repeating some prayers or singing songs and doing whatever activities they do. A Church is the people who come in the Name of Christ as a body. It is not when they meet that the body is formed and when they go home the body is dismantled. They moment a person commits himself or herself to a congregation he or she becomes a part of the congregation. Even when they go back to their own houses they still continue as a part of the congregation and the Church continues to exist. They still need to be aware of the presence of Christ and their commitment as coming together as one body. Like if a family person has gone on a holiday, he or she does not cease to be a family member or is exempted of his or her responsibility as a member of the family.

Everywhere we go we need to understand we are projecting ourselves as what we personally are, our (earthly) family and also our congregation (our spiritual family).

Thus it is the duty of the Church leaders, elders and congregation as a whole to help, guide and encourage each other in Christ.

Coming to the second part; a person who does not believe Jesus died for his or her sins is not a Christian. If anyone having even a slight doubt in this area needs to urgently sought help, it is a matter of life and death. Even if you are born in a Christian family and your parents are Church leaders or elders, it does not make you a Christian unless you have excepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, believe He is the Son of God and God Himself who came down as man to die for our sins and by His death and resurrection we receive eternal life.

Any person not getting this inside one's self is not a full Christian and an easy prey.

In today's message Barabbas who was a criminal was set free and Jesus Christ who was innocent and just died in his sake.

The word Barabbas means 'son of a father'. Jesus Christ the Son of God who came as man died for the sake of the son of a human father (us). He became a ransom for our sins and paid it with His life.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord Jesus, we believe You are God and the Son of God Who humbled Himself as man and became an eternal sacrifice for our sins. Lord we prayer for all your people who have yet not come to know that You reveal Yourself unto them by your Spirit. We also pray for the congregations which come together in your Name, that they may show You among them when they come together to worship You and otherwise...

We make this prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference Scriptures ]

Matthew 27:15-26
15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

1 Timothy 1:12-16
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

1 Timothy 2:3-6
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Acts 8:29-38
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

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