Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? You own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being haded over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "you say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to truth listens to my voice." Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit.
The substitution of Jesus for Barabbas seems like a monstrous tragedy -- a preference for mediocre evil over blazing goodness. But the substitution was not fatal, for God made an act of atonement out of it whereby Barabbas might be saved.
Dear Lord, I pretend indignation at the crowd's choice of Barabbas, but I do it too, choosing dull mediocrities over blazing virtues, the familiar and comfortable ways of the world over the challenging, spirit-stretching way of Christ. Forgive me and train me in better choices.
In your precious name I ask these things. Amen.
This devotion was written by Eugene Peterson.
In this coming year:
*May we Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and act according to God's will and leading in our lives.
*May we not be afraid to say "yes" to what He is putting on our hearts.
*May our lives and actions have eternal purpose in not only our own lives but, in the lives that we come into contact with everyday.
*May we keep our eyes and ears in tune to the needs of the widow, the lonely and the orphan and advocate for them.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed.
Happy New Year to you and your families!!!! :)