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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
The Greatest Story
In Matthew 27 we read the story where they were celebrating the Passover feast and Pilate, the Roman governor following Rome’s custom to free a prisoner, asked the people who were assembled whom they wanted him to release. They had a notable or well-known prisoner who was guilty of insurrection against the Roman government and also guilty of murder whose name was Barabbas. Pilate gave the people the choice on who they wanted to release simply because he didn’t want the responsibility of handling it. The religious leaders had already told the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to do away with Jesus. Here is a man guilty of his crimes and is released and another Man innocent of any charge against Him and He is condemned to be crucified. He became a substitute, or one who goes in the place of another, doing what the other should be doing. In this scripture we read where Jesus became Barabbas’ substitute. It was Jesus who went to the cross which really belonged to Barabbas. He stepped in and took Barabbas’ place but not only his, but ours as well. He became the sin offering for the entire world; the Just dying for the unjust. Now, I want you to picture Barabbas if you will. Put yourself into his place as this scene plays out. You are in a prison cell awaiting your impending crucifixion in just a few hours. You hear the uproar of the crowd around Pilate’s judgment hall which is up the street a ways. You hear the shouting from the multitude gathered there. It’s not difficult to imagine hearing the shouting of the crowd yelling your name. Barabbas! Barabbas! Then a pause, you cannot hear Pilate’s weak voice from the distance as he asks the crowd what they want to do with Jesus and all you can hear is their shout of crucify Him! Crucify Him! You know death is sure and you wait. You listen and suddenly you hear the sound of the Roman soldiers as they come walking down the corridor of the prison. You listen as they insert the key into the lock and you cower into a corner trying to plan how you will escape from them but knowing hopelessly there is no way. The door opens and your name is called out, Barabbas? Barabbas? Yes, I’m Barabbas you say. Come with us they say you are free to leave. What? Free to leave? What do you mean? Someone has taken your place in death. You mean to tell me someone is dying on the cross in my place? Who would do that? I just heard the crowd yelling for my crucifixion. O but is wasn’t your crucifixion they were yelling for but Jesus to be crucified. But why would they crucify Jesus? He’s always done good. He has healed the sick, given sight to the blind, raised the dead and even fed the multitudes and calmed the storms. Why would they crucify Him? Why is He dying in my place? That should be me. No that should be all of us. As he goes into the daylight he squints due to the brightness of the sun. Feeling around for something to steady him due to his weakness he looks and sees the mob going through the city gate. He sees One carrying a cross and crowned with thorns. The crowd jeers and the Man doesn’t look as though He is strong enough to go on but another man steps in to help Him carry the cross. He is going to Golgotha, the place of the skull, where He will lay down on the cross and await the spikes which they will use to pierce His hands and feet. There He will die in our place, suffer the death we deserve and become our substitute so that we may have life. O, what love! O, what dedication and selflessness! Giving Himself for me. You have heard all He has done for you but what have you done for Him? What have you done with Him? Is He your Savior? There He hangs, suffers and thirsts. There He looks around at those who pass by. Then He looks up to Heaven and cries out, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do! There are two thieves crucified with Him on either side and one rails on Him saying save thyself and us if you be the Christ. The other rebukes the first and says do you not fear God seeing you are in the same condemnation and rightly so, we deserve it but He has done nothing wrong. He then looks to Jesus and says to Him, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. Jesus then says to him, today, shalt thou be with me in paradise. Hanging there suffering, He looks and sees His mother, no doubt weeping and says to her, behold thy Son. This is the reason I came into the world. For this purpose I was born and He looks to John and says, behold thy mother. You take her and treat her as your own and take care of her. Then the darkness covers the land being about noon as God turns His back on His darling Son. Jesus cries out wailing, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? God had to turn from His Son because of the sins He was carrying for us; our dirty rotten filthy sins He was carrying there for us. Later as the sun began to shine again Jesus said I thirst. The One that made the rivers and the streams is now thirsty for that He made. One of the soldiers took a sponge and dipped it in vinegar and put it on a pole and lifted it up to Him where He took of it. Then as time wears on Jesus says it is finished which in the Hebrew was tetelestai. To the carpenter it means the piece of furniture was finished or complete. To the merchant it meant paid in full. No the plan of salvation was not finished that would take place in three more days but the payment for salvation was finished. He had paid it all. Then the last cry He makes very soon after as He bowed His head and said, Father into thy hands I commend my spirit. Then He gave up the ghost and died. Hurriedly now they remove Him from the cross and wrap Him in linen cloth and surround Him with spices for the burial. Quickly they lay Him in the tomb and roll the stone to cover it before the high Sabbath the next day. People cheered, Satan shouted in victory and the demons laughed at His plight as Joseph and Nicodemus laid Him in the tomb. A day passed and soldiers were stationed there to guard the body to insure no one stole Him. Another day passed and life is trying to get back to normal. The third day, Saturday passes without fanfare. No doubt the religious leaders were basking in their victory over Jesus; but wait! It’s now the end of the day the beginning of the first day of the week. Six o’clock in the evening. The inner earth begins to quake, Satan begins to shutter and the demons scream in fear as Jesus begins to move and shake off the bonds of death from Him. He rises from the dead. Death could not hold Him. The grave could not contain Him. And the tomb could not keep Him. He’s alive! Victorious over death, hell and the grave! He’s alive today and forevermore! Days may look dark and depressing but we serve a living Savior today! Hallelujah!