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Thursday, 23 May 2013

The testimony of the CROSS for you, me and Barabbas

This is your testimony and it sure is mine. And those of Barabbas.

The people chose Barabbas. They voted for him. He was one of theirs. He was nothing but a thug, a crook, a murderer. He was a bad man. And yet he was set free. By Jesus. Nothing has really changed. Nothing.

Barabbas really is me… and you. He is us.

 For while we were still sinners Christ died for us. God sent His Son for Barabbas even the one He knew would walk away from Jesus and His free gift and never come back.

God loves us the same way He loves him --- and then we, believers still thinks ‘I got saved by grace but now that I am in this deep dark place of bondage, I better work hard to get myself out’

Why?? That is the opposite of the Gospel.
Are you bound?
Are you held under the power of this temptation and this sin?
Do you feel like it’s controlling you?
What are you going to do? Shake yourself free?

You can’t, you’re no match for the powers of hell and the urges of sin, you will never overcome it you’ll just be another statistic. There is no answer within yourself! Your own marriage, your own goodness your own discipline your own devotion will not save your marriage and will not save your kids.

There is only one and He’s the one that took your place. He’s the one that stood silently on the platform with Pilate and said ‘Yes, let them have Barabbas, take Me’.

How many times have I stood on that platform with Pilate and Jesus and I’m the Barabbas and they start to take my chains off and I say ‘no no I deserve this, I deserve the guilt, I deserve the shame I deserve the consequence. I deserve it!’. Jesus seems to look at me and say No Suzette let Me have it. Let Me have your sin, let Me have your pain’….’No God I did it to myself, I deserve it, my marriage won’t make it, this is what I deserve; divorce, poverty I deserve sickness, I deserve it all.’

 Then Jesus still says NO.
‘God I’m so ashamed ‘
‘Give me your shame’
‘But God what if I do it again?’
‘I’d still be here’
‘Oh God I don’t want to hurt You, I love You so much I don’t want to do this anymore!’
'Give Me your sins Suzette..’

We can play church games, we can pretend like some people are better than others and that’s why they are blessed or we can all come to the honest conclusion that it’s God and its God alone.

The greatest challenge is not your discipline, your devotion or your focus. Your greatest challenge is believing in the Gospel.

Could it be that there’s a God with a love so scandalous so wide so deep so vast so high so expansive so welcoming so inclusive that says ‘Let Me have your sin Suzette’!

And when I give Him my sin I stand in this empty space of forgiveness and acceptance while Jesus walks off the cross that I deserve. And when I look up and see Him walking to the post to be whipped, as I stand free…

I feel the love of God that says "Go Suzette live your life I’ll pay the price"

Where did we get off thinking that we’re going to set ourselves free?
It’s still Jesus. It will always be Jesus. It will never stop being JESUS. His blood is sufficient for your salvation. His blood is sufficient to sustain you through every challenge and every sin and every temptation. Jesus is enough!

~Judah Smith

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