Reading through the Bible together
They crucified the wrong son! How could the entire nation of Israel make such a drastic mistake? All Jewish males made the Passover trip to Jerusalem once a year. Israel had two options before them, the men arrested were both “son of the father.” How could this be? The name Barabbas means: “bar”= son of, and “abbas”= father.
They released the “son of the father” who deserved to die that day along with the two thieves. Instead, the Son of the Father, Jesus of Nazareth, whom Pilate found “no basis for a charge” (vs.4), and lived a perfect sinless life, was the one nailed to the cross that Friday! Either way, we know for sure, the wrong “son of the father” was released that day. However, the right “Son of the Father” was crucified!
Jesus had endured three mock trials before dying. But who was really on trial in the crucifixion of Jesus? Jesus says in John 12:31, “Now is the judgment of the world . . .” The Cross is the clearest revelation of GOD’s loving heart, but it also exposes in full array all that is wrong in our world. At the cross, the sinful nature of every person and kingdom is judged and condemned in Jesus’ flesh; in all of its ugliness. The Cross is an indictment against violence and usury, against rebellion and religion that forces and coerces, against scapegoating (blaming others), and against the satanic kingdom of the accusing spirit with shame and deceit.
At the cross, Jesus died FOR our sins. That is, He died IN our place. However, He did much more than that! Jesus also died AS our sin bearer. He “became sin” (II Cor. 5:21). Jesus became “a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Many Christians think that Jesus came to teach people how to get to heaven. That misunderstanding belittles the cross, imagining it merely as a tool for getting us there. It is much more.
Only John’s Gospel records a soldier piercing “Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (vs.34). At the Cross, Jesus poured out His blood, which signifies the death of GOD’s Son to give you life. It saturated the ground around the Cross. With a heart full of gratitude you need to accept His blood in your behalf. And are you thirsty? Jesus invites you to come and drink and joyfully draw water from the well of salvation.
Christopher Bullock, M.Div.
Pastor in Atlanta, Georgia
North American Division