Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, December 14, 2014

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Pilate could hardly believe his ears, the people shouted for the release of Barabbas—a criminal of the lowest order! As we view this event and the meaning of the name of this rebel we discover that this was a prophetic moment in time. His name means “the son of the father.” And Jesus was “the Son of the Father.” Almost providential that Jesus and this man should both be judged by Pilate. Jesus had surrendered His will to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane so that all of the sons and daughters of every father standing under the curse of sin might be set free! This means you and me—we are guilty but provision has been made to set us completely free.

 

John expands Mark’s chapter and the moment when Jesus stood before the shouting crowd as Pilate spoke, “Behold the man.”(John 19:5).  This was like a trumpet call to a watching universe.  Look at God standing before His creation—helpless, and defenseless! Judas could not understand why the Son of God allowed Himself to be taken by the mob—the Devil cannot fathom it to this day, the angels stand silent as “His people” cry for Jesus’ death.

 

As the Romans positioned their prey upon 3 crosses only one did not fight or curse those who drove the nails into His flesh.  Only one was focused upon the goal of saving earth’s inhabitants. Had Jesus followed the suggestion of the Devil that day to come down off of the cross, we would be lost—there would be no hope for the sons and daughters of the Father.

 

A short time before standing in Pilot’s judgment hall, Jesus stated, “if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself” (John 12:32). Many people stood at the base of the cross that day—two hung beside Him on their own crosses.  The heart of one thief was transformed as he beheld Jesus—he became a believer.

 

Mark speaks of another man who beheld Jesus that day—possibly all day—he was the Roman centurion charged with keeping order and carrying out the vial commands of Pilate. When Christ breathed His last this battle hardened solder, at the foot of the cross, softly spoke, “Truly this man was the Son of God. (Mark 15:39).” 

 

The people who beheld Jesus that day made their choice. It’s the same choice you and I must make. Once you behold Him, the question arises, “What then shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ (Matthew 27:22)?”

 

Jim Ayer
Vice President
Adventist World Radio
General Conference