Last’s weeks ABC post was Invade me and Involve me. This week, it’s Just for the Unjust.
Just for the Unjust? During Jesus’ questioning and trial before Pilate, a mocking crowd, spear-headed by the high ranking Jewish leaders, had gathered. These jealous leaders wanted Jesus to be put to death because He was gaining many followers into what they believed was heresy. Pilate was unsure of what to do because he fouund no guilt in this man (Jesus). He eventually spoke this option to the heated crowd, “You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabas!” Now Barabas was a revolutionary. (John 18:38-40) Barabas was certainly not a just man; and thus, rightly so, he could not have given his life for an unjust people.
Just for the Unjust! But then there was Jesus, King of kings and Lord of Lords. No blemish, no flaw, no sin, no guilt. All love, all truth, all mercy, all God. The story unfolds: Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple robe around Him. And they repeatedly came up to Him and said, “Hail King of the Jews!” and were slapping His face…when the chief priests and the temple police saw Him they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” And soon afterwards, Jesus was nailed to a cross and put to death, becoming the One and only, Just for the unjust. (see John 19)
When I look at the above story, my heart cries out, “O God, forgive me!” I can see myself in all the characters: I am Pilate who sometimes “washes my hands of Truth”; I am one of the cheif priests who sometimes has my own selfish agenda; and I am Barabas who was released, with Jesus dying in my place. And with these thoughts, I then want to cry out, “Dear Jesus, thank You! You became poor that I might become rich! You gave Your life a ransom for many! You who knew no sin became sin! By Your stripes I am healed!” (2 Cor. 8:9; Matt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:21; Is. 53:5)
So friends, let us thank and praise Him together as we are reminded of what He has done for both you and me: For Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God… (I Peter 3:18). Amen and amen.