Choosing the Wrong Jesus

Recently in my prep for one of these last messages in Mark, I was struck with the amazing “coincidence.”   Barabbas, the terrible murderer/insurrectionist who was put forward by the chief priests as an alternative to Jesus in Pilate’s “prisoner release” scheme, wasn’t just Barabbas.  That is the equivalent of a surname, meaning “son of the father” or “son of the teacher”–depending on how you translate the last part.  Either he is just like his father in some way, or he is a disciple of a well established teacher–perhaps some rabbi who promoted the ideas of the Zealots, who used violence to upset Roman rule and punish possible collaborators.  To choose Barabbas is to choose the way of violence, of power, of using “whatever means necessary” to get what you believe in.

More interesting to me was that his first name was also Jesus (meaning salvation).  So, Pilate unwittingly offered the people a choice between two men and two very different ways of “salvation.”  The crowd chose the wrong Jesus as their own.  They have tended to continue that wrong choice ever since.

But God had made a choice, too.  He chose to send his Jesus to die, and through that death to save–not from political oppression, but from the penalty of sin.  Thankfully God’s chosen One still saves those who have made all the wrong choices up until now.  Faith in Jesus the son of God still is the right choice.

Don’t follow the historical path of the crowd when faced with this choice–don’t choose the wrong Jesus.

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Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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