Barabbas, did you believe?
Murderer and thief
Bound in chains
when the soldiers came.
What did you expect
as you stood before Pilate?
With Jesus there beside
as the crowd screamed
You, a sinner released
while the Sinless took
What did you do
with your chains now removed?
To the cross did you go
to see the One who suffered woe-
Did your eyes meet
at the Savior’s feet
Barabbas, did you believe?
“Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned He stood,
sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!”
-from the hymn Man of Sorrows by P. P. Bliss
Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash
She walked afraid. Each step forward a victory as the powers of darkness raged war around her. Her hand drew back, unprepared for the cold steel handle as she pulled open the door. She stopped as fear gripped her and her feet refused to move. Demons grinned at her hesitation. They knew she wouldn’t go through it. She always made promises to herself but she never kept them. Suddenly she heard the kind, gentle voice of an elderly woman, “Welcome, dear. I haven’t seen you here before. Let me help you find a seat.” She smiled at the older woman. Her voice reminded her of her grandmother. She followed her through the double doors and slipped beside her on a pew. She nervously tugged at her skirt. For the first time in her life she was embarrassed by its shortness. The woman patted her hand and directed her attention to the front of the church.
Listening attentively, her heart took in every word the man of God was preaching. He spoke of rest. A rest only found in Jesus Christ. Her soul was weary. She longed for that rest. But how could this Jesus give her that rest? The man of God spoke of sin. She knew her own sin well enough but he also spoke of Jesus’ love. Love enough to die on a cross for all who would believe…for her if she would believe. How could she believe in this love? No one loved her. Her mom was a drunk and her dad nowhere to be found. Men confessed their love to her but only to use and abuse her later.
A tear slipped from her cheek then another and another. She wiped them in embarrassment. No matter how hard she stuck her nail in her palm, she couldn’t stop the tears. They began to sing “Jesus Paid It All.” She glanced at the woman beside her. She wasn’t singing but her head was bowed and her lips moved rapidly in fervent prayer. She couldn’t take another moment of this agony.
“Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r and thine alone,
Can change the lepers’ spots
and melt the heart of stone.”
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved…” Ephesians 2: 4,5 (ESV)
She walked afraid but to the altar she fearlessly ran.
If you don’t know this love of Jesus, I’d be happy to share more about Him and what He did and is doing in my own heart and life. My email is email@example.com.
Have you ever wondered between the words, places and events of scripture? Perhaps asking yourself why did the disciples respond this way? What could it have been like for John the Baptist in prison? Behold the King of Glory by Russ Ramsey is a narrative on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Beginning with the healing of the nobleman’s son and ending with the hope of the King of Glory who is making all things new in Revelation, the author gives us a detailed account of the conversations, ministry and miracles of Christ including those after His resurrection.
Mr. Ramsey shares the historical and cultural context with a descriptive language that adds a freshness to Christ’s story. For those who have grown up in church or have read their Bible we know the outcome of each miracle. Yet I was still captivated by every account the author penned. He places scripture references throughout so that the reader may know where to find the story in the Bible. It contains 40 chapters with the thought of it being used as a devotional for the season of Lent. The author writes:
Jesus didn’t go through all that suffering just for his own victory over the grave. He did this for the rescue of those who would believe in him as well. Through the messy lives of those who could love him and fail him in the same breath, he would bring rivers of the grace of God to a thirsty world, and their stories would be eternally, inextricably joined to his, world without end.
This book is a great tool to give an unbeliever who is seeking to know more about Christ. It would also be a thoughtful gift for someone who never tires of reading the story of Christ. You can download a free study guide for the book here.
I received this book from Crossway Publishers in exchange for a honest review.