Tuesday, November 20, 2018

From the Heart: He Took My Place

Read Mark 15:1-15

At the very core of our Christian belief is the all-important fact: Christ died for us. As I was reading through this today it occurred to me that Barabbas was the first. Let’s think about that for a moment. Verse 7 says, “A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.”  There was no doubt about his fate. He had committed murder, so his fate was death.

As he sat in his prison cell awaiting execution for murder, I can only imagine the cold chill of many emotions that must have swept over him. The fear, the dread of a certain death. Not just any death but a horrible death on a cross. He had committed murder and there was no escape.

Then he heard footsteps. A key being slid into the lock on his cell door. The door swung open. His heart pounding in his chest. He knew it was time and they had come to take him for his final walk up the hill to that awful cross. But the guard said, “you are free!” A man named Jesus has taken your place.

Barabbas was the only man in the whole world that could rightly say that Jesus Christ took his physical place. However, I can say, along with the whole world, that He took my spiritual place. You see, it was I who deserved to die. It was I who deserved that wrath of God. It should have been me. I deserved the eternal punishment, the lake of fire. “He was delivered up for my offenses, He was handed over to judgement because of my sins. — “Christ was my substitute.”  He was satisfying the debt of divine justice and holiness.

Dear friends, Christ died physically for Barabbas. He died spiritually for everyone else. The Bible says that when we trust and obey we can walk out of the prison-house of death and step into the bright sunlight of forgiveness and freedom. What an amazing truth! Christ died for me. “He took my place!”

It has been said, “Christ took our place that we might have His peace; He took our sin that we might have HIS salvation.

PRAYER:

All wise and gracious God of heaven and earth, how truly great You are! Being the father of sons of my own, I can only imagine the pain You must have experienced, watching your son Jesus suffer and die on that terrible cross there on the hill of Calvary. You must have been so very proud of your boy. That he too loved us so much that He would take our place on that cruel cross. Oh, Father, may we forever praise and glorify You, now and forever more.

In Jesus Holy Name, AMEN!

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