The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 7 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 304)
TEXT: John 18:37-40:
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 304.
John MacArthur said, “It is easy to look at the cross and conclude it was the worst miscarriage of human justice in the history of the world. And it was. It was an evil act, perpetrated by the hands of wicked men. But that is not the full story. The crucifixion of Christ was also the greatest act of divine justice ever carried out. It was done in full accord with ‘the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God’—and for the highest of purposes: the death of Christ secured the salvation of untold numbers and opened the way for God to forgive sin without compromising His own perfectly holy standard.”
After Pilate finished questioning Jesus, he apparently came to the conclusion that Jesus posed no threat to Rome and that He had done nothing worthy of death. So, he goes before the Jews and tells them, “I find in Him no fault at all.” Pilate believed Jesus to be innocent. Anyone who honestly looked at Jesus’ life and teachings would come to the same conclusion. But the Jews were blinded by hatred and jealousy and would not accept Pilate’s verdict.
In an effort to free Jesus, Pilate called upon an annual tradition whereby he released a Jewish prisoner back to the people, sparing him whatever punishment awaited him. Pilate offers to spend this tradition on Jesus. He asks, “Will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” It is impossible to know what was going on in Pilate’s mind when he called Jesus the “King of the Jews.” It is likely that, in an effort to point out that he felt Jesus to be strange, eccentric, but certainly harmless, his tone is slightly mocking toward Jesus and chiding of the Jews. “Will ye that I release unto you this man — your king!?”
One might think that after the Jews had time to consider what they had done, in the light of day, surely they would overcome their unfounded hatred of Jesus and realize their mistake — arresting an innocent Man, putting Him on trial, and seeking His death. But, no. Instead of allowing Jesus to be released, they demanded another. “Then cried they all again, Not this man, but Barabbas.” And John adds, sadly, “Now Barabbas was a robber.”
Matthew calls Barabbas a “notable prisoner,” that is, an infamous one. Mark tells us that Barabbas had, in fact, been arrested for attempting to start an insurrection and had “committed murder in the insurrection.” Imagine that: the Jews chose a robber, a murderer, an infamous insurrectionist over a rabbi, the messiah, innocent Immanuel. They demanded the freedom of a man already convicted of the very thing they wanted Pilate to put Jesus to death for. And they are so blinded by hatred that they cannot see the irony.
On that day, the Jews made a choice — they chose sin over the Savior. They rejected God’s Son in the most atrocious way possible. What they did not see was that by Barabbas going free and Jesus going to the cross, they had set up a perfect image of what Jesus had come to do. The Roman penalty for leading an insurrection was death. Eventually, Barabbas would have been crucified. But, Barabbas walked free and Jesus took His place on the cross.
This poem by Margaret Cagle expresses the truth that this is also exactly what Jesus did for you and me.
Barabbas was a sinful robber,
But to his freedom, he was led.
They took the sinless Son of God
And crucified Him instead.
We are all like Barabbas.
We are each guilty of sin,
And the wages of sin is death,
But Jesus died for all men.
Our sins condemn us to Hell.
By Jesus our sin debt was paid.
He died and shed His blood for us.
In a tomb, His body was laid.
Praise God! On the third day,
Jesus arose from the grave!
If you put your trust in Him,
Your soul, Jesus will save!
Dear friend, will you take advantage of the freedom that has been offered to you through Jesus Christ? He died that you might walk free from sin and the punishment of sin. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at email@example.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.