Mundane Monday: Call Me Chief

Grae abounding.jpg

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

When God has forgiven us, man’s judgment no longer has to have a hold on us.

Scripture of the Day:

1 Timothy 1:15

“This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’–and I am the worst of them!”

Self righteousness is one of the slickest tools of the enemy. Pride at the root, we begin to think we are righteous of our own merit. Often unrecognizable as we see the flaws in everyone surrounding us except for our own, it is lethal to our walk with God and hurts those around us.

Paul is refreshing in his transparent view of himself. He did not boast of his righteousness, but instead called himself the worst sinner ever.  It seems kind of demeaning at first. After all, there is always someone worse than ourselves. But God does not grade on the curve and the beauty in recognizing nothing good in and of ourselves apart from the grace of God is not only seems truthful, but fitting.

It is in seeing my desperate condition before a Holy God that I see my need of His salvation. I cannot defend myself based on any deed or belief, for it was only His grace that enabled me to do or be anything that would please a perfect God in the first place.

Admitting we all are Chief in the sin department is at once condemnation and freedom. Gaining access to a relationship with our Holy God only happens through confession of sins and then sweet redemption when we choose to believe and accept His righteousness for our own.

When God has forgiven us, man’s judgment no longer has to have a hold on us. When falsely accused, we realize that although the accusation might not be true, there is something in us that we are guilty of even if we cannot see.

This truth has been such a blessing in my walk with Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation, even though we are guilty. For Christ fulfilled God’s perfect law for all eternity and we stand blameless before a Holy God. What good news this is!

Walking in this perfect freedom, we no longer have to fear, but we also can no longer judge our brothers and sisters, either. We do not know anyone else’s hearts and we all are equally chiefs of sin, too.

Lord, thank You for revealing our sins that we could be set free. Thank you for removing our sins as far as the east is from the west. 

Which Jesus Do You Choose?

Photo Credits spreadingthefame.com

Photo Credits
spreadingthefame.com

Matthew 27:15-18

During the feast the governor was accustomed to release one prisoner to the crowd, whomever they wanted. 16 At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 17 So after they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?” 18 (For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy.) 19 As he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent a message to him: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man; I have suffered greatly as a result of a dream about him today.”20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas!” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?” They all said, “Crucify him!” 23 He asked, “Why? What wrong has he done?” But they shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!”

Every year I read this story, but this is the first time that I recognized Barabbas was named Jesus Barabbas.  Upon researching his name, “Barabbas”, it literally means, “Son of the father”.  Two men with identical names but completely different natures.  One Jesus was the Holy son of God while the other Jesus was a criminal – a thief and a murderer.

The people were given a choice – which Jesus would they choose?  They chose the counterfeit Jesus.  The one who was a sinner just like them.  The one who did not make them uncomfortable in their sins.  They did not choose the unpopular Jesus – the only Jesus that could truly set THEM free.  By setting the sinner free, they were enslaving themselves, and blind to the consequences of their choice.

I wonder if the irony was seen by any of them at the time.  When they said, “let His blood be upon us and our children”, indeed it is only Jesus’ blood which could cover them.  They thought they could handle the judgment and responsibility for crucifying God. They did not know that they were the very tool used by God to shed His innocent blood, which would indeed set all people free Who could see Who this Jesus really was.

Pilate was given a choice.  He claimed innocence, but did he choose Jesus?  Knowledge of Him is not enough.  People in the time of Christ were given a choice, too.  So are we.  False Christs abound today.  They might not be clothed in garb that is easily recognizable, but comforts and idols abound, which are often chosen over the One true Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christ suffered as a criminal for us all.  What will be our choice?  To be identified with Him, to know of Him, or to deny Him? We do not have to have lived at that time of Jesus to make that choice.  He is alive and drawing us near to Himself.  He fulfilled the righteous demands of God’s law and suffered cruelly in our place.  He died for you and I, friend.  That is the Savior I choose.  Happy Easter!

Lord, open our eyes to see that You are the only Savior of all mankind.  May we choose You over and over again in the daily mundanity of life and never cease to wonder at how magnificent Your salvation is!

.