having not grown up with any easter traditions, no easter egg hunts or easter church dresses, i can’t say that i have the same level of “fun” anticipation that i’ve seen in others when it comes to the day that just passed. and i don’t readily remember big church celebrations either, no sunrise services or friday evening communions. it’s part of my adventist history, one that hasn’t seemed to always know what to do with easter. yet i found myself in church on saturday (the day i usually go) wondering what’d i’d preach on if i were tasked with an easter sermon. and today, on this post easter monday, i have an idea i’d like to share with you.
|“Give us Barabbas!”, from The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, 1910|
begging for Barabbas.
that would be the title. i’d use one of the gospels, probably Luke since that’s where i’ve been lately. i’d begin with the scene where pilot is questioning the ppl. this man is innocent. what do you want me to do with him? and they respond with crucify him, give us Barabbas.
and then i’d lay out the following…
it’s seemingly ridiculous that they’d want to convict an innocent man, but we do it all the time.
it’s seemingly ridiculous that they’d want to kill an innocent man, but we do it all the time.
it’s seemingly ridiculous that they’d want a known thief & killer freed, but we do it all the time.
it’s seemingly ridiculous that they’d want the known thief & killer in exchange for the innocent man…
and yes, we do that all the time…
how so? you ask. well, for the sake of time (of which i currently have little), i’ll keep this simple but not simplistic: i looked in the mirror this morning and saw Barabbas. if you were honest this morning, you probably saw him, too. unless, of course, you’ve achieved enoch status. and if so, up you go.
but if not, you struggle to put your self aside and embrace Jesus. you beg for your own will, your own way. you see who you’ve been yet your pride prevents you from surrendering so that you can be changed. and in the end, you’re trading an innocent savior for a convicted fellon, a fellon who could actually receive new life in Christ but…but instead you beg and beg for Barabbas. yes, we beg for the son instead of the Son!
Barabbas = son of a father
Jesus = Son of the Father
which one do we want?
sure, we could look at other example of how this plays out–our justice systems, our political spheres. but that’s out there, an easier space to analyze. the place that truly needs attention is in here. inside you. inside me.
our celebration of the death and resurrection of our Lord & Savior is a great opportunity to remember what happens when we put ourselves first and Christ second–he dies. the story continues, however. in Christ’s resurrection, we have an opportunity to remember what happens when we surrender–we, too, experience new life with him.
will we continue begging for the son of a father this morning or will we surrender and experience new life in Christ, our resurrected and soon-coming Lord & Savior, the Son of THE Father?!
okay, that is all. wish i had time to flesh this out, really bring it home. perhaps next year.
till then, enjoy uncharted waters. they are for the healing…