Monday, April 09, 2012

Choosing Barabbas

"The real suffering on the cross was when the Father turned away from the Son and strapped our sin on Jesus’ back and inflicted the punishment that sin deserves and we’ll never know." 

I read this today at (in)courage (Sarah @speakingoftruth) and it's been sticking with me all day.  Tonight I read all four gospel accounts of the crucifixion, and it kept coming back to me.  So often we focus on the physical aspects of the crucifixion but really, that wasn't the worst part.  The worst part was bring rejected by His father.

Think back to John 1.  In the beginning was the Word (Jesus)... God and Jesus had a good thing going, and Jesus had to leave the perfect place where everything was just as it should be.  He had perfect fellowship with His father yet He had to leave that to come to earth.  And now, the reason He came is being fulfilled.  His only purpose was to die so that we wouldn't have to pay for the sin we commit.  And since God can't abide sin, He had to break fellowship with Jesus, the sin-bearer.  And I think that those moments when He was dying, and God had forsaken His sin-riddled body, were the most horrific, lonely, miserable, agonizing moments in his life.  Forget the flogging.  That didn't compare to this rejection.

I think about being rejected myself, and how much it upsets me, and I realize that the rejection I feel is NOTHING compared to His.  I don't even think I can begin to understand the severing He must have felt.  He was completely empty at this point.  He had nothing when He didn't have His Father.  They had a perfectly complete relationship; they were one.  And now they were ripped apart.  

The part I really want to "get" is that this was for me.  

He experienced this because He knew I couldn't be righteous without it.  There was no other way.

Oh what love the Father has lavished on us, that we would be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)  

Yet we daily...momentarily... reject Him.  We are the ones shouting, "Crucify him!"  Often choosing Barabbas, we're content to do things our own way, and we'd rather Him not get in the way.  We are content to live in our sin, and when we do, we might as well look Him in the eyes and tell Him that what He did- this agonizing separation from His very life-giving relationship- isn't enough.  We want more.  We want what we can provide for ourselves.  We don't really want Him.

As you move through this upcoming week, try to really drink in the immensity of it all.  Ask Him to reveal the depth of His love to you.  Let this be the time you fall on your knees in awe and humble thanksgiving!  

Without Him, I am nothing.
Without Him, I am hopeless.
Without Him, I am dead.

Am I living like it even matters?


Always counting...
#459 First day in youth ministry
#461 Study of 1 John with juniors
#462 The ability to run
#463 Connecting to God in worship
#464 Favorite colors (seriously, God totally did NOT have to do that for us!)
#465 Duggars' testimony of faith after miscarriage
#468 "We will overcome!"
#472 Long weekends

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richelle said...

i think the first time i thought about the pain of that broken fellowship with the Father was when i read "the shack" (not a most highly recommended book, but the Lord used it to challenge my thinking about what that relationship within the Trinity just might be like). i can't imagine the pain for either the Son or the Father - and still, because of love and obedience, they went through with it...

there is a fascinating story called the last sin eater - talks about a man chosen to bear the weight of sin for an appalachian community... your post also made me think of that.

have a blessed Easter Monday!

Nikki said...

Am I living like it even matters...will be pondering that one all day.
Still thinking about this even though it's been a few days since you shared it with me. I, too, agree...rejection at its worst. For Jesus was the only blameless man of us all. And the only one God has turned His back on intentionally. He had to. He was covered in my own shame....

thanks for stirring my heart. again!


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