Study from God’s Word… Selected passages chronologically from the ironic and horribly unjust trial of Jesus back and forth between Pilate, Herod Antipas, and again with Pilate, taken from Matt. 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, as well as John 18 -19 … Passage for Reflection: John 18: 39 - 40 … NIV [Pilate asked] “Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews?” They [the Jewish mob accusing Jesus of sedition in lieu of blasphemy] shouted back, “No not him! Give us Barabbas!”
My Journal for Today: Reading chronologically through the horrendously gruesome trial of Jesus this morning, I learned one detail from Dr. LaGard Smith’s devotional, covering these events, that shows me, not only God’s biting sense of irony at times, but also His penchant for giving us what we need rather than always listening to and giving us what we ask for.
You Christians, who’re reading with me here, have no doubt read through Christ’s passion, maybe several times, and this series of events where the Jewish leaders have provoked a mob to cry for the crucifixion of Jesus, is one of the most incredible series of events in all of Scripture. And, as we read, it comes to Pilate, the Roman Governor, who did have the power to crucify Jesus where the Sanhedrin didn’t, to order Jesus to the cross. But for the most part, Pilate could not find fault in Jesus. So, as a ploy and a tradition of the day to release a prisoner just before the Jewish feast, Pilate mockingly asks the crowd if he should crucify the “king of the Jews.” Incensed by this, the Sanhedrin provoked the mob to cry out for Barabbas, who was an insurrectionist mobster of that day.
And herein lies one of those great God ironies, which is lost on the emotional mob crying out for Jesus to die. The name “Bar-Abbas,” in Hebrew actually means “son of his father.” So, the irony is that the people, by calling out for the release of this man, named “Barabbas,” are, in reality, crying out, “Free the Son of The Father,” which is exactly what they, as sinners, needed; and by getting Barabbas in exchange, Jesus, the Son of Man, who was also the Son of the Living God, would go to the cross in order to give them, the mob (and, of course, all of us) freedom from their [our] sins.
Incredible irony! The mob cries for what they want; and God gives them exactly what they need. And aren’t you glad that God doesn’t always give us everything we want exactly when we want it? No, when we pray for or plead to God for many things, God knows exactly what we need; and praise the Lord, He will only give us what we want … IF … it’s exactly what we need.
And just as I close out another morning of time in God’s word, being taught God’s truth, I’m so grateful that I serve and worship a God Who knows what I need; and in listening to my prayers and pleas, gives me just what I need.
Say it with me [and if I didn’t want to wake up my wife, I’d shout it!] … “Praise the Lord !!!”
My Prayer for Today: Yes, praise Your Holy Name for loving me enough to always give me what I need rather than what I want. Amen