April 14, 2019
Sermon Title: Jesus or Barabas
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Scripture Text: Matthew 27:13-25
19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
Jesus or Barabas
This morning as many of you know today is Palm Sunday -The day, taken from the Gospels, where a whole city threw a parade for Jesus. As Jesus rode into the city, the people threw Palm branches in anticipation of his coming.- Thus we get our word Palm Sunday. -This day marked a time of celebration where Jesus was the worshiped and praised.
This day is Bittersweet for us because even as we read of the celebration we know that Friday is coming- The cross is coming. We know that many in this same crowd will within a few short days exchange words of praise to words of death. Shouting Hosanna, Hosanna and then later shouting Crucify Him, Crucify Him.
On Friday they are shouting give us Barabbas, We want him, Crucify Jesus Crucify Him. Why the change? There are many possible reasons, but one simple reason is that their words did not match their heart. They possessed a casual not a committed faith. They had religion but they missed the person Jesus . . . So how can we have a committed faith . . . How can we be real and sincere? Consistent in all that we do.
The first Key is that a committed faith is not self-centered it is Christ-Centered This sounds obvious, but we often miss it. In America, we tend to say to God, " Hey God, here is my calendar, here is my agenda. . . Now I can squeeze you in here or here. Pulling God out or turning to God only when it is convenient or useful.
A second key is that a committed faith is relationship driven. Many of those who gathered to throw their coats and palm branches onto the street and who shouted praises did so because it was the popular thing to do at the time.
A third Key is that committed faith is not swayed or blocked by our personal trials and crises. At the parade it was trendy to offer praise . . . Everyone was doing it. But at the trial to speak out for Jesus was risky. Possibly even life threatening.
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