Speaker: Jon Thompson
Scripture: Mark 14:60-64; Matthew 27; Luke 23
Barabbas, a life of rebellion, a life of violence, a life of fighting the system, using violence to overcome violence, my life choices are justified because i am not as bad as the one I am fighting. You can become so consumed by a just cause, that you become eat you hate or the cause become where you think you find purpose, meaning, life and identity.
All three them if you got them in a room would say I am not those others, yet they all trying getting identity and purpose, all trying to deal the ups and downs of life by bringing all that they can. They all are motivated by
Fear, Self Sufficiency, intimidation, control to get purpose, meaning and peace even more a moment.
Yet Jesus never used any of these. And here is powerful moment in the story Jesus literally takes Barabbas' cross, he choose to take his place and Barabbas goes free, Jesus does not. Barabbas is unbound, Jesus remains bound, one Jesus dies so the other Jesus goes free.
And why would we every want to put our hope in Jesus and not anyone or anything else? Oh because he can give us what we all really want.
Jesus promises rest for the deepest part of us, but He requires us to take on His yoke. He offers to exchange the yoke we are already wearing for His yoke. If we won’t accept His offer, we will remain yoked to sin, lost dreams, broken relationships, dead religion, or lies. The lie that we are independent is just that, a lie. We always serve somebody or something. The choice for us isn’t whether to live unyoked or yoked but to choose the right yoke to wear. As R. T. France noted, “We should remember that the ‘rest’ Jesus offers is not relaxation of the demands of right… It is not the removal of any yoke but a new and ‘kind’ yoke which makes the burden ‘light’. A ‘yoke’ implies obedience, indeed often slavery! What makes the difference is what sort of master one is serving. So the beneficial effect of Jesus’ yoke derives from the character of the one who offers it.”6 Jesus promises purpose, meaning and peace in an ongoing permanent way.
Series: Easter 2019
All of us want purpose, all want meaning, all want peace in the end. Which of course is part of being human, part of the human experience. And this leads all of us today seeker and skeptics, believers and unbelievers to ask where can one find these identity giving moments. Can it last more than a moment or is it always fleeting? Some of us trust in wealth, many chase beauty and youth, others follow power. Most want promotion. Some demand likes and status. We clamour around certain movements, systems of thinking found in books and podcast or other people or ourselves to find purpose to escape it all. Politics, video games, sex, money, jobs, friendship, food, travel, religion, Netflix, spirituality, mindfulness, control, manipulation the list goes on and on.
And it is here in this ongoing search that 3 people in the story of Jesus just before his death bring so much of this home. One is the best expression of political power and self-reliance, another the best that family connections and religious power hold and the last is what rebellion and brut force can bring, a Pilate the Roman leader and there is Caiaphas the high priest, and Barabbas the insurrectionist. We enter the Easter moment just before Jesus is confronted by Pilate and the Barabbas
And as we look at each historical person the question to all of us if we truly allow this to happen will be who do you trust in, who do we do want, who can give us real purpose, peace and meaning, identity?