As I was reading this morning in Luke the same story I have heard since I was a wee little girl, the part where Jesus is taken to the Sanhedrin for judging jumped out at me.
I’ve heard time and time before this same story (which I believe is 100% true) about the accusations against my Savior Jesus Christ and how Pilate found nothing to charge Him with. I heard the whole part about Pilate giving the people a choice of releasing Jesus (who had done nothing wrong — ever) or Barabbas (a rebel and a murderer) several times as well. It always ends the same way….the people chose Barabbas.
When we do not know the goodness of our Savior, we will choose anything over Him. Even a murderer. When the goodness of Christ is not believed on and felt within the depths of our souls, we will choose things and people harmful to us over salvation.
I have thought about this, and I’m just not sure. What I have come up with is this: we are afraid of what we have no standard to compare to. As humans, we want to know everything and control everything. It’s just how we are. The people back in the day of Jesus, and people in the present-day, often reject and crucify the Son of God because they do not have anything to compare His salvation to. Truly, it is like nothing else. He is like noone else. Believing and experiencing the salvation of Jesus Christ through the grace of God is giving up control to someone much, much mightier than you are. I, for one, actually love this.
I still like to have control in life…know my work hours, plan out events, fill my planner every month of routines, schedules, and events. I like to be in control, but I know ultimately all control over my life is in the hands of God. After all, He is the one who saved my life. And I love Him. I’ve never seen Him face-to-face or anything, but I love Him. Eternity is going to be beyond any grand event I can conjure up in this feeble mind of mine.
I write all of that to say this: what are you releasing into your life instead of Jesus? What, or who, have you chose over your Savior? For me, before I knew God I believe I had chosen two things: fear and myself. I let myself believe that I didn’t need God because I was a “good” kid and I knew all about Him…wasn’t that enough? I let myself be afraid to admit that I needed and wanted Jesus because that would mean I was wrong, a bad person — right? No. The fear was misplaced and my view of my “goodness” was skewed. We are never ‘good enough’ on our own. We need the perfection of Jesus to put goodness into us. But it does no good to just read about it…you have to experience it.
Those people in Jesus’ day knew all about Him. They knew the miracles He had been performing. They knew His teachings. They saw His healing in action. But, those who hadn’t believed in His goodness and experienced it themselves were the ones yelling “Give us Barabbas! Give us the murderer!”
I could tell you all day about the goodness of my Savior — Jesus Christ. I could tell you all day about what He means to me (i.e. everything). I could tell you all day, but it means nothing if you don’t experience Him.
So, experience Him. Pray. Believe. Invite Him. Have faith. When you do all of those things, you’ll be yelling “Give me Jesus! Give me salvation!” You will fall in love with not just His goodness, but with all of Him. Don’t worry though, it’s a beautiful kind of love, because He already loves you (even if you’ve been yelling for Barabbas). Love Him back.