The ‘MOST IMPORTANT’ CHOICE of our LIFETIME
October 21 Bible Reading: Mark Chapters 13-16
Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?" So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!" Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!" So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. (Mark 15:6, 11-15)
The above scriptural passage brings us to the fake trail of Jesus before the court of the Roman Governor Pilate. Since the Feast of the Passover was observed in commemoration of the release of the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage, the Roman governor customarily released a prisoner during the Feast as a symbolic gesture of goodwill. The choice Pilate proposed to the crowd was ironic: Jesus Barabbas, the would-be political savior of Israel who was guilty of rebellion and murder, or Jesus of Nazareth, the true Savior of the world who had committed no sin!
This story is one of ironic substitution. Pilate knew the charges against Jesus were insubstantial, so he attempted to release Jesus. However, the chief priests were guilty of envy and Pilate was guilty of compromise. When Pilate offered to release Jesus by taunting the envious chief priests, the people were incited to ask for releasing Barabbas. What a peculiar irony that a revolutionary against Rome should be released by the cry, “We have no king but Caesar!” The very ones who were charging Jesus with treason against Caesar were asking the release of a man who was actually guilty of that crime!
Both the Jews and the Gentiles were guilty of the execution of Jesus Christ because both the priests and Pilate handed Him over to be crucified! Their sins led to the release of an evil man Barabbas, and the death of Jesus, who throughout His trial and crucifixion was the only one who did not act from fear, jealousy, or self-interest!
What we can understand that all the players of this mock trial - the chief priests, the Jewish elders, scribes, the whole Sanhedrin council and Pilate, the Roman Governor - had the most important choice of their lifetime. This choice was whether they would ask for the release of the innocent Son of God or the guilty murderer. Sadly, they opted for Barabbas and thus condemned Jesus to be crucified. What a wrongful and tragic choice!
Let us remember that the most important choice that we have is whether or not we will accept Jesus Christ into our heart as our Lord and Savior, and live our life pleasing Him alone. We have to make this choice as soon as we are aware about this matter. Have you made your most important choice by accepting Jesus Christ? If not, today is the day to make this most important choice and seal your destiny in heaven.
Moreover, our everyday life consists of a series of choices, whether good or bad. Through each choice we determine if we will obey and follow the desires of God or, do the things of the world. Let every other choice that you make daily be in conformity to the will of God as then only can we truly please God, our Heavenly Father!