Wednesday, 11 April 2012

This is Your Life

“ Therefore when they were  gathered  together ,Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release to you ?  Barabbas, or Jesus  which is called  the Christ ? Matthew 27:17.
      "Then cried they all again saying , Not this man , but Barabbas . Now Barabbas  was a robber”. John 18:40.
  Strange ,  is it  not;  that  any one  would  prefer  Barabbas  instead of Jesus Christ , who went about doing good , preaching love, forgiveness , peace and deliverance .
  Barabbas was a Jewish  dissident who opposed the  Roman  Occupation  of  Israel. Barabbas  and  his  band  of armed  dissidents resorted to highway robbery and surprise attacks against the Romans  to fight  for  Jewish  independence  from  Rome. Eventually , Barabbas  was  arrested  by  the  Romans. He was tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion . Barabbas  was  awaiting  execution  in  the  same  prison court yard in Pilate's  palace  where  the  Lord  Jesus  was  taken  to after  His  arrest  in  the  Garden  of   Gethsemane .
Maybe,  like  the  other  prisoners  and  guards Barabbas   joined in mocking Jesus as He was being  tortured . 
Barabbas could have joined in taunting  Jesus ; laughing  over His  claims  of  being " a King”!
“ Look at him ; he says he is the Messiah , also , he is  the king of some invisible kingdom. Ha , ha ! In your dreams , mate ! ”
The  Bible  has  no record  that  Barabbas recognised who Jesus was or that he even acknowledged Jesus  as Lord  and Saviour  during  their  brief  encounter  at  Pilate's  court .
Jesus  of  Nazareth  took  his  place  on  the  cross.
Barabbas must have seen his escape from execution as the greatest miracle of his life! 
 He, his family and friends must  have gone home with great jubilation ; thanking God for escaping a horrible and shameful death on the cross.
 But unknown to him, Barabbas had missed out on the purpose for his encounter with the greatest miracle ever given  to mankind. He got a temporary life-saving miracle but he lost out on the opportunity of receiving the greatest gift of all , which is eternal life from the Salvation –Giver himself!

In His community, Jesus was known as a common carpenter in Nazareth.
 They called Him “Yeshua ben Youssef”, "Jesus son of Joseph". 
 They knew  Jesus as  a child ,had seen Him grow into manhood .They  knew His parents,Joseph and Mary, his brothers and sisters. 
With this background, when Jesus' time of manifestation  came , these people were not impressed  and they disregarded His preachings.                                                                                                    

Jesus and His ministry was despised and ridiculed by the people who knew Him and they were incredulous at  Jesus’ preachings and teachings. Matthew 7:29, Luke 4:14-30 .
 He  had  lived  amongst  them  for  33 years . During  His three  years  ministry on earth, Jesus’ fame  spread  all over  the  region and He was highly sought after. Wherever Jesus went ,he was doing  good deeds , performing  spectacular  miracles, stamping  His  Lordship over  the elements ( Matthew 14:22 – 33 ), stamping over  Satan , his agents  and  their  oppressions  (Mark 3:11, Luke 4:41 ) (John 2:18-22 ,11: 21-46) .
Jesus incurred the wrath of powerful theocrats in Isreal because He made bold  and emphatic statements about who He was , about His  Mission, about His Son ship(John 3: 16- 21, 10: 30 ), about His Lordship and Kingship,( Matthew 28:18 ) and about  His  Crucifixion, His death and resurrection ( Luke 9:22 ).

  Anyone who has  been honoured by God and blessed with  promotion , fame and  glory, would testify that through no fault of theirs, the price they have paid for their fame and honour  is envy and anger from some people .
Jesus Christ experienced pre-ordained  hatred and rejection from the people He came to save ; as the fulfilment of  the prophesies about Him even before He came to earth. Isaiah 53:1-3.
Jesus was resented ,  hated , despised , ridiculed , rejected and thrown  out  of  the  temple, by His enemies in the corridors of  religious power in IsraelThey regarded Jesus' ministry as an affront to their authority.  
To them , Jesus was a “loose cannon”,  who had  to be stopped !
When  Jesus’ enemies  could  no longer bear  the  Sights and Sounds  of Him , they  decided  to silence Jesus and see him off , permanently.
False accusations , ridicule , humiliation , torture and crucifixion were the weapons they used  to ensure that they “nailed  that impostor,  finally”.
To be doubly sure they got Him , they sealed His grave with a huge boulder !
Blinded by  their hatred and envy of  Jesus , His enemies inadvertently, played into God’s hands  and thereby perfected God’s Salvation plan for mankind.
As it was over two thousand years ago , the  story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is  glorious , today and forever .

Jesus died and he  resurrected  to beautify the life stories of all mankind.
Jesus has  justified all who believe in Him by  His death  and He has given us the assurance of a new life by His  resurrection !

Just like the rowdy multitude baying for blood in Pilate's court  rejected the King of Glory in preference for Barabbas,  also millions today, have chosen to reject Jesus Christ , the Prince of Peace and  the Life - Giver, but they have chosen Satan, the thief  and  the robber.
Dear reader, this is  your life , the only life  you will ever have . What are your  lifestyle and life values ? 
This is the only life you will ever live. Has your life ,so far, been spent in ignorance about who Jesus Christ is , about  what He has done for you and what He expects from you?
Have you been choosing and chasing, like  millions are doing today, shadows rather than the substance; deceiving yourself and declaring that you are“ too much for all this religious stuff!".
 You don't "do religion" and your own God is dead?

Barabbas and the unrepentant thief on the cross had a very close encounter with Jesus Christ, which they misjudged and misused. The two condemned men, like millions of people today, had  the  golden  opportunity  for eternal freedom within their grasp , but  they  did not know it or see it and so they  lost it - forever!
 Barabbas lost out through ignorance of the Person he met in prison, the Sinless  Lamb of God whose life was sacrificed for all mankind; while the unrepentant thief on the cross , dying, just a few feet from the Saviour of the world , missed out on eternal life because of his rebellion and bitterness against God.
“ But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death”. Proverbs 8:36.

Jesus Christ is the expression of God’s Love .
There is no other name , no other way except by Jesus Christ , whereby  mankind can be qualified to receive the Salvation of  God. ( Act 4:12)
The Bible says , God saw the travail (agony) of  the soul  of Jesus Christ and  God was  satisfied . Isaiah  53 : 11.
Nothing else could have satisfied God. Jesus' sacrifice was "finished" and it was perfect indeed.
When we accept Him, we receive the righteousness of Jesus into our lives.
By his death Jesus has  borne our  sins , our condemnation, our diseases, infirmities, afflictions and our sorrows. 
What and Who are the driving forces in your life?
 Are you living a life of believing the lies of the Devil , a life of bitterness and rebellion against God your maker ?
Maybe you are one of those persons who hate God and reject His Word ? You mock  and resent the messengers of God and everything that pertains  to God.
Surely, you do accept the fact that everybody has an appointed day , on which they would  leave this  realm of existence  and go and stand before the Almighty God, their maker ?
"He that  heareth  My word , and  believeth  on him that sent Me hath everlasting life , and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto  life".
John 5:24 .
Your life IS NOT YOURS  to do what you like with it .
Today, now, is your time of salvation. The next minute may be too late for you.
" It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement." (Hebrew 9:27)
Don’t you believe the lie of devils.  There is no reincarnation ! 
 There is no such thing as “ going to heaven and coming back to this life a second , third or fourth time , to make amends for our past lives ”!
The Almighty  God  created you , for a purpose : and that is to show His  Glory  in your  life,  through His Son Jesus Christ. 
§ Now , Salvation , through Christ is offered to  you full and free  because  you  need not do  “ something very good” before you would qualify  for it .
§  It is not by works but by grace and you are saved through faith  in Jesus Christ.
§  Believe and Accept Jesus Christ and His finished  work of salvation today. Make Him your Lord and Saviour.

The second  thief  on the cross  recognised his last chance and he grabbed it!
He believed  and confessed Jesus as Lord with his last breath . He received the promise of God , became  an heir of salvation and was immediately translated to heaven Luke 23: 40- 43 .
§  Pray, confess your sins ,right now and ask  Jesus to forgive your sins and help you to know Him and to live for Him .
§  Confess Jesus as  your Lord and Saviour , always , in your words and deeds.
§  "That if thou shall confess with  thy mouth  the  Lord Jesus , and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead , thou shall be saved ".
      Romans 10 : 9.  
§ You , having said and done all that, now, you are saved by His precious blood . 
  May you be strengthened by His power, now and always . Amen.

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