Murder and rebellion. Rebellion is the precise thing the leaders and the people are charging Jesus with when they say he is “misleading the people” (verse 14) and “saying that he himself is Christ, a king” (verse 2). And murder is an offense that makes it clear that Barabbas not only deserves to be in prison, but he deserves death. Genesis 9:6 taught, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Barabbas is no mere offender in rehab, but a murderer on Death Row.
This week’s offerings include Dr. Sproul’s God Alone (audio/video download) and The Atonement of Jesus (audio download) teaching series, as well as A Holy Ambition: To Preach Where Christ Has Not Been Named by John Piper.
Packer gently leaned over the table, looked me in the eye, and said, “Young man, Paul wasn’t struggling with sin because he was such a sinner. Paul was struggling because he was such a saint. Sin makes you numb. People who sin over and over again become desensitized to sin. The reason Paul’s “struggle” was so intense was not because he was caught in a web of sin, or because he thought of himself as hopelessly doomed to giving into the temptations that he faced. Rather, it was because Paul lived a life so sensitive to the Holy Spirit and passionate about the glory of God that he intensely felt his sins whenever he became aware that he had committed a sin (since he was not, of course, sinlessly perfect).”
The death of death in the death of Christ means victory for those who believe in Him. Jesus has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Eternal life and immortality come to all those who believe that Jesus died and rose again to save sinners. This is the most basic promise of the gospel. We hear this promise over and over again throughout the New Testament. It’s an old truth with fresh meaning. Christian, listen to these promises and stand in them. My friend if you are not yet a believer in Jesus Christ, listen to these promises and received them by faith today.