Never Choose Barabbas

Matthew 27:17

In the message “To Whom We Sacrifice” we saw how our daily actions reflect our priorities and values, and become, in a very real sense, the sacrifices we place on the altar. Everyday we make many decisions which either draw us closer to God or lead us further away – few decisions are truly neutral.

The Jewish leaders had passed judgment on Jesus; “He is worthy of death!” (Matthew 26:66). But Roman law required a sentence of death to be approved by the Roman Court. Therefore, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, the governor of the region around Jerusalem.

Pilate was in a tough situation. He had talked with Jesus and could find nothing deserving death; “I have examined Him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against Him” (Luke 23:14). But Pilate was also under great pressure to keep peace in the region, so he allowed the people of Jerusalem to make the final decision.

Matthew 27:17
“Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Barabbas was a convicted murderer, Jesus was the Son of God. The people loved Jesus when He was feeding them or healing their sick, but when required to make a decision, the people chose Barabbas: “‘What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify Him!'” (Matthew 27:21-22).

We take the first crucial step in our Christian walk when we believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. But as important and significant as this first step is, the purpose of this step is to then begin a lifetime journey of abiding in His presence and living a life which is “holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1). The presence of God is never found through specific prayers or religious activity; rather, the peace of His presence is found only through our moment-by-moment choice to allow Jesus to be Lord of our life and to follow wherever He leads. We must learn to choose each daily step based on what is pleasing to a loving and holy God.

Are we part of the crowd who is easily swayed, or are we willing to stand firm in our faith? Has God become a God of convenience, used only in emergencies, or is He truly LORD of our life? We all face the same decision (many times each day) as the people in front of Pilate: Jesus or Barabbas; the ways of God or the ways of the world; life or death? If we desire a life of closeness with God – a life given as a living sacrifice to bring Him glory and honor – then we must begin to choose wisely. We must boldly face the multitude of daily decisions and be determined to never choose Barabbas.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

**** Reading Plan ****

Apr 23 Judges 1:1-2:10; Luke 21:29-22:13; Psalm 90:1-91:16; Proverbs 13:24-25
Apr 24 Judges 2:11-3:31; Luke 22:14-34; Psalm 92:1-93:5; Proverbs 14:1-2
Apr 25 Judges 4:1-5:31; Luke 22:35-54; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 14:3-4
Apr 26 Judges 6:1-40; Luke 22:55-23:10; Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 14:5-6

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