This Sunday, April 16th, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message to begin our new series Scandalous: A Love that Shocked the World, here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX on Easter Sunday.
Scandalous: A Love that Shocked the World
“And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified,” (Mark 15:1-15).
Jesus stands before Pilate, and during this time there is a custom that at the Passover one criminal can be set free, and so enters this confusing plot-twist character named Barabbas. This guy is hours from his execution, and he deserves to die. Jesus on the other hand is innocent and has done nothing wrong.
Pilate is very certain that the crowd will pick Jesus to be set free because it was just a week ago that they lined the streets with palm leaves to welcome Jesus into the city. Jesus is their hero; surely they will set him free, but then the unthinkable happens. The same crowd that cried Hosanna, now cries crucify Him.
Jesus is enough. Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas, so that He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.
Barabbas on the other hand thought that it was the people that set him free, but instead, it was the love of the Father.
This love can’t easily be described with simple, cute, or easy words; to do it justice is not possible. We would need to use words like: unfathomable love, furious love, fierce love, or scandalous: a love that shocked the world.
This is the greatest love story of all time, but it’s not a love story like any other. This is not the love of a man for a woman – that love pails in comparison to this. This is a love story of a Father for His Son. Not his Son Jesus, but His son Barabbas.
When you break up the name Barabbas, you see bar, which means son, or pure and clean, and you see abba, which means father or daddy. The literal meaning for Barabbas is Son of the Father. Barabbas was the son the Father who was lost and wanted back.
You are Barabbas. We are Barabbas.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8, NKJV).
While we were at our worst, the Father, through Jesus, gave His best. While Barabbas was at His worst, the Father gave His best.
Why did God do this? It was to buy him back. He loved His wayward son, Barrabas, who had incredible worth to the Father. He could have purchased his freedom with gold or silver. He could have used any currency He wanted, but He chose to purchase him, me, you, us with His blood.
He loved you so much, He thought you were to die for!
The greatest part of this love story is not that Jesus died, but Jesus did not stay dead. He conquered death and the grave because God raised Him from the dead. The Father treated Jesus like Barabbas so that he could treat Barabbas like Jesus, and when He raised Jesus from the dead every Barabbas can be raised up and seated in heavenly places with Him. You are Barabbas.
“When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross,” (Colossians 2:13-14, The Message).
“He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets,” (Colossians 2:15, The Message).
Something happened from Friday to Sunday. If our love story ended on Friday, it’s a great story, but it has no power to change you. But from Friday to Sunday, everything changed.
All you have to do is believe and receive.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name,”(John 1:12, NKJV).
Choosing to believe and receive what God has for you, is becoming who God has called you to become.
Are you ready to receive the power to become His Son or Daughter today?