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Barabbas

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Barabbas

Barabbas was a thief and everyone knew it.  Bible scholars think he was also a revolutionist.  I tend to think he was simply Satan’s little helper to seal the deal in Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.  Satan wielded a methodical, crafty plan to maneuver people in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He took full advantage of everything imaginable, including similarities between Jesus’ and the thief’s name.  “Bar Abbas” is translated “son of the Father.”  Did Jesus not refer to His Father as “Abba?”  Think this is a coincidence?  I doubt it.

Every person involved in the crucifixion of Jesus knew exactly what they were doing, to a point.  Pilate knew all too well the Jewish council envied Jesus and wanted Him dead.  Yet, the governor did not usurp his authority to free an innocent man.  He’d rather please the people.

The people’s ambition to overthrow the government created an insatiable need to kill our Savior.  They weren’t out of their minds.  They weren’t mentally unstable.  They didn’t have moments of rage.  They didn’t have bad parenting.  Selfish gain hindered them.  Satan coaxed them into believing they needed their revolution at any cost.  If Jesus didn’t come to earth to rescue them from the hands of the Roman Empire, they determined to find someone who would.  Why not get rid of Him and move on to someone more capable to take on their cause?

None of them realized their plans had holes.  They had no idea Jesus would wreak greater havoc after His death.  Fear and panic reverberated through their community when word spread that Jesus had risen from the dead.  A host of witnesses verifying He had been seen and heard in numerous places troubled them.

Whatever revolution the people had in mind, the spiritual one that began at Jesus’ resurrection took precedence.

How many times have we seen the masses storm the streets, take to the CNN Network and Fox News, in an effort to press the public to their way of thinking?  If we listen to their arguments long enough, they tempt us to throw up our hands and cave in.

The scriptures are clear:  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  (Romans 12:2)  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

Don’t be fooled.  Satan is sly, sneaky, and patient.  He is maneuvering the masses today as he did in bible days.  What troubles me most is when my Christian sisters and brothers allow Satan to seep into their lives and massage them into compromising situations that both grieve and cause them shame.

Did it ever occur to you that you are being used?  Satan can dangle something good in front of us then lead us into a trap.  It could be as simple as a wife spending too much time with her mother and not dropping everything to serve her husband (and vice versa).  It might be your need to tell your sister in Christ that she hurt your feelings.  Leaving things unsaid “kindly and out of love” can tempt you to harbor anger.  Or maybe you want to work one more week of overtime, leaving your wife and children alone, thinking one more week won’t hurt them.  After all, it’s only seven days.  Right?  Feelings of abandonment are powerful emotions to overcome.  You must remember Satan is in the family destruction business.

Listen to what the scriptures say:  “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible, but not everything is constructive.  Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”  (I Cor. 10:23)  Yes, it is good to work overtime to feed your family.  But it is wrong to do so excessively.  If we’re not careful, Satan will tempt us with our needs and the growing crowds surrounding us will chip away at our firm foundation until we are standing in the middle of a marsh and left wondering how we got there.

Do not be easily persuaded.  Test the spirit.  Stand your ground.  Don’t become immoral.  Keep yourselves pure.  Don’t slander your brother and sister.  And please don’t look the other way when you see them on the streets.  “Greet each other with a holy kiss….”  (Romans 16:16)  And fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.  That’s exactly what Jesus Christ did for us.

by Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet
September 1, 2013
Written for Park Plaza Church of Christ
Tulsa, Oklahoma

The sermon on Barabbas will be preached Sunday, September 1, 2013. You will be able to access this sermon by Thursday afternoon. Keep checking the website for the upload of the sermon if it is not up by Thursday. Follow these instructions to get to the church website: GO TO Parkplaza.org to hear the sermon on Barabbas. Once on the website, click “Media,” then click “One Hit Wonders.”  There is NO signin or registration.  ENJOY!

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