Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Sometime early on Easter morning it start raining here on the prairie. I got up and got ready to head out on the ole trail to the church meeting place. Today we met at the local high school in Wills Point. On my way, I noticed my friends the cows didn’t seem to mind being out in the rain. They seemed more interested in the nice green grass that has started to grow again. I was asked to help with greeting as I usually am. I call it my “shaking hands and kissing babies time.” Lots of hands to shake today but not any babies to kiss.
The worship time was good as usual and then Pastor Brandon got up to preach. I was expecting to hear a resurrection sermon as one would, on this day. However, I was quite surprised by the course Pastor Brandon took. This sermon seemed to be more appropriate for “Good Friday.” than Easter Sunday. He talked about the trials that Jesus had to under go. As I recall, there were six of them all together. Three were with the Sanhedrin and three were political, the most prominent being with Pilot. Pilot pronounced Jesus innocent of any crimes deserving death right away. But he also wanted to please the people. Pilot decided to follow the custom of releasing a prisoner of choice to the crowd. The call came out “give us Barabbas!!”
Now came the point of the message. Along with Pastor Brandon, I have read these accounts countless times. I can’t remember consciously thinking about it, but the point was made that Jesus and Barabbas actually traded places. Barabbas deserved death because he was guilty. Jesus deserved to go free because He was innocent. Pastor Brandon said he was Barabbas!! He deserved death but instead, because of the sacrifice of Jesus on his behalf, Barabbas went free. Even more amazing to me, so did we, if we are indeed Christians. The mystery of salvation has always amazed me. I cannot fathom, being chosen by God to be His child before the foundation of the world, being forgiven of my sins, being pronounced as righteous even though I am anything but that. It’s doubtful if Barabbas ever thanked Jesus for taking his death sentence upon Himself. Thank you Pastor Brandon for pointing that we are Barabbas in this narrative. I pray we will never take for granted the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and then proved he had power and authority to forgive us our sins through His resurrection from the dead. He has risen!!! He has risen, indeed!!!