Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’
“But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus.”–Matthew 27:20
As I was reading the account of Christ’s passion this morning, I was burdened by this phrase. What a contrast in persons! Barabbas had stolen from their tables, he was a thief. Jesus had fed them with bread and fish, he was a giver. Barabbas had mutilated. Jesus had healed. Barabbas had murdered. Jesus had raised the dead. Barabbas loved his own flesh and hated others. Jesus had hated his own flesh and loved others. Yet they spared Barabbas and destroyed Jesus. We cannot miss the importance of this verse in all of the passion account. This is the crux of the Gospel. To doom oneself to hell, we must reject Jesus and embrace sin (Barabbas), but to have eternal life, we must reject sin and embrace Jesus.
What would drive the people to such a ridiculous choice? Two verses prior gives the answer clearly. “For envy they had delivered him.” Jesus was a lot of things, but he was not what the people wanted him to be. They wanted a political savior, a social hero. They wanted a miraculous king. They wanted a submissive puppet. They did not want a bleeding sacrifice.
Fellow-Christians, Paul says that we can be partaker of his sufferings. A part of those sufferings are rejection because of envy. Some will reject you simply because you are not what they think you should be. Some will reject you because they seek Barabbas but destroy Jesus. Notice also, that it is the multitudes persuaded by the elders. People are fickle. They will follow that which is most popular. The elders knew that and knew that if the multitude was not behind them, they would get no where with their diabolical scheme. So they bent the will of the multitude to destroy Jesus.
Burdened saint, don’t be discouraged if the “multitudes” are against you. They were against Jesus Christ. In a few short days, multitudes in Jerusalem would realize what had been done and 8000+ would repent and believe on the Lord Jesus. The rejection of Christ by the multitude takes place only weeks before the greatest advance of the church in all of New Testament history.
Forward, Saints! press on! In due season you will reap if you faint not!
The late S.M. Lockridge’s sermon entitled “That’s My King” has been circulating through the internet for some time. Pastor Lockridge was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego and a well-known speaker around the world. I do not know much about Pastor Lockridge’s ministry, but I do know that it is impossible to listen his sermon without my heart being lifted up in adoration to the King of kings, Jesus Christ. As we consider the birth of the King, let us consider all that He is as the Eternal One. I have linked to a website called Igniter Media which has a powerful remix of Dr. Lockridge’s sermon. I challenge you to take a few minutes and listen to it.
“God becoming flesh;” that is the meaning of the incarnation. Most people are willing to celebrate the incarnation of a baby born in a manger. Countless families who never crack a Bible normally may even read Luke 2 this time of year, and with smiles of pity remember a baby born in a manger who is “Savior,” although that word may mean little theologically to them. The incarnation however does not begin and end with the Christmas story. Rather, the scene of baby Jesus so many will decorate their houses and front yards with is the just the means God used to orchestrate the purpose of the incarnation. Jesus said that “for this hour” he had come, referring to his impending death on the Roman cross. Jesus Christ has never had a beginning. When Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph could not rejoice over a “new” little life they cradled in their arms. Why? Because Micah 5:2 tells us that the Messiah who came from Bethlehem would be from everlasting to everlasting. The person of Jesus did not begin in Bethlehem; he had always existed as eternal, infinite God. Rather, the beginning of the incarnation seen as the baby in the manger, was God the Son mixing his eternal person with flesh and blood. That means the Christ was sinless (being eternally God) and still sin-cursed (being now fleshly man). Of course, the crucifixion on the cross was Jesus Christ carrying our sinful curse on himself in fullness being separated from the Father (suffering as God) and tortured in the flesh (suffering as man). Of course we know that Jesus Christ being God and man could die and yet not stay dead. Death has no power over God since he instituted death as punishment for sin. But the incarnation goes further than the cross. When Christ rose from the dead, he rose with a body. Similar in style but different in substance in that it was glorified and perfected. He retains that body even today, and is still fully God and fully glorified man, which gives us hope of the glory that shall be revealed in us as his saints. One day, we will see the fullness of the incarnation when the incarnated God, Jesus the Christ, flesh and Spirit perfectly joined returns to rule with a rod of iron. His eye are a flaming fire and on His name is the Word of God. The title of Jesus when He comes and we “see” the incarnation–King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19).
Hallelujah for the incarnation of God the Son from cradle to cross to king!