By David Brenneman
Emphasis can be on different parts of a sentence, depending on how the person intends to say something.
In typing emphasis is usually with alterations to the letters, say, making them capitalized, or surrounded by quote marks. Or it may be done by way of suggestion. Letting the mind do the work of emphasizing.
Go word for word in the title of this post and move the emphasis a word at a time.
The meaning of the sentence changes. In some it causes them to ask other questions. Some it does not.
I was reading in John 18 regarding Barabbas being released. Barabbas was to have been a thief on a cross like the other two that were crucified. No doubt this probably had an impact on his life. He was shown mercy while an innocent man was crucified in his place. We often read and take note of the other two thieves on their crosses but don't consider the emphasis that is implied by the third thief who's cross wasn't just given to anyone. His went to Jesus.
We can read of the grace and mercy given to the one thief. We can read of the one who opened his eyes in Hell. This third thief is just as important. He can be a symbol of grace and mercy, regardless of what he chose to do with his life thereafter.
I haven't looked up any history on Barabbas outside of what the Bible records of him.
But to me it was a perspective change to consider him a third thief who was to be on a cross.
Grace means unmeritted favor. It is something positive that we absolutely cannot earn.
Mercy is defined as: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
What God has done through the cross that Jesus used for salvation was to present grace and mercy to all who should be on that cross, as Barabbas was supposed to have been. Every human being who ever has lived was born with a sentence of death upon them because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Our daily opportunities as believers is to live out what our received grace and mercy are meant to be in our lives.
It's worth asking: Does the fact that Jesus took YOUR sentence of death upon Himself really mean enough to YOU that you've changed your life because of it? Many claim to come to Christ yet aren't living as though a decision to follow Jesus has happened at all.
Over and over again throughout these thousand plus posts God's had me ask you to consider your ways. To consider what you are making important in your life versus what God's Word says is important in your life.
It absolutely should be whatever is important to Jesus should be important to you, if indeed His taking your sin, your cross, your shame upon Himself meant anything to you at all.
If your days are filled with stuff and no substance in Christ then it's a good idea to rethink while you are afforded the time to do so.
Barabbas may indeed have still thrown his second chance away or he might have eventually found salvation in Christ Jesus the very one who took his place.
Really think on the depth of that choice of Jesus. His Father, knowing that sin would need to be atoned, told His Son that to save those whom He loved that it meant taking all their sin upon the Son in the most horrible of conditions. Jesus obviously agreed and obeyed. He saw the future just as the Father did. Saw what He would go through. Stepping down into time to obey. To show a love so great that a cross couldn't stand in the way of it.
What have you done with such knowledge concerning you?
What have you done with knowing that YOU a kind of Barabbas?
Much is said concerning Judas and how he fulfilled his part of prophecy. I believe that Barabbas was also hinted at in Daniel as part of the mystery sealed up that Daniel was not to write about.
Consider that Daniel was standing there when Jesus showed up to take him and all the rest from Paradise to be with Jesus forever. I, of late, have considered the one thief a lot. To open your eyes after dying to find that Jesus kept His promise. With no merits to his name. No works that he could claim. Grace and mercy applied.
Grace and mercy are for all of us in the land of the living if we accept it.
Priorities are so important. Yet many claiming that Jesus saved them aren't living as though that is important enough to effect a life change. They don't even try to seek Him or find out what He wants them to do.
What have you done in regards to this?
What are you thinking is more important than offering your life for the Jesus who took your cross?
This world is heading towards the judgment of God as written in the Bible. It's not heading towards global warming and it isn't climate change. This world is alive and all creation, the Bible says, groans and awaits the return of Jesus to make right what sin has done to it.
In a very short period of time Jesus will take those who are indeed saved from this world, the dead in Christ first, those who are alive and remain second. All those will be given a new glorified, perfect body. We will go away from this world while this world is cleansed by the judgments of God. Horrific times are coming that mankind has never experienced on a global scale. Look into history. Name one time when one third, or billions of people, died at a judgment of God. It's coming.
What Have You Done to show your appreciation to Jesus for all that He did for you?
I still think of hymns. Living for Jesus. At Calvary. Trust and Obey.
Setting your mind on things above and not on the things of this world.
Make what is important to the one who saved you important to you.
I love the song "What He's Done". With what He's done what have you been doing?
I am reminded of a thought concerning success. It's not what you have done in the past, but what have you done lately?
It upset me greatly a decade ago that I knew more about so many worthless things than I knew about God's Word. I couldn't tell you hardly anything about it. But I could quote movies and science fiction stories with ease. Could tell you all kinds of ways to make things but not on anything Spiritually important.
I thought about my standing before Jesus, my life's choices and work being tried as through fire, and looking down and seeing nothing of value to offer back to Him. Nothing.
To say the least that scared me to no end. Here I was, calling Jesus my friend and Savior yet I was seeing on that spot where my life's deeds were tested and nothing remained.
What have you done!? Is what I could almost hear Him asking me. "Was my sacrifice meaningless to you?"
What Have You Done? What are you doing that says that Jesus took your place?
My favorite Charlie Pride song is "He Took My Place". You can look up the words.
What have you done? Will there be anything left when your works are tried to see what you have done for Christ? Oh consider it all. Consider it all. What have you done?
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