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Devotionals

Judah Smith -- Stirring up the Church to Release Barabbas

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828ministries.com H3'ed 10/19/17
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As part of the new age young gun pastors, Smith fully embraces the sloppy agape gospel that is heavy on love and not so much on repentance. We will see this theme throughout this jam as Smith yells at the congregation for daring to think there is anything they can do about their own wretchedness. It's all about Jesus dontchya know? Except that is a dangerous mixing of eternal principles and temporal realities. Yes there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Salvation is entirely a work of the Lord. We do not believe in works as it relates to becoming saved but that does not mean we throw works in the trash beloved. Faith without works is dead. Barabbas is not out of place at all. Jesus is going to the cross to die for our sins of which we need to repent. Barabbas represents us all. We deserved to die the death of an insurrectionist. We deserved to die the death of a rebel. Yet Jesus dies instead of us. Judah skirts along these lines throughout the jam but his intention is to push the sloppy agape agenda and not what the text actually says and reveals. Is the cross a love story? Sure but is that all it is? Is it not a redemptive story? Is it not a story of the wrath of almighty God? The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesian Elders he is innocent of their blood because he did not hesitate in proclaiming the whole Gospel. What Judah Smith traffics in is a half gospel which is a whole untruth. If you look to the cross and only see love then you are not looking hard enough. Look deeper and see the blood and the flesh. Look deeper and see the sacrifice. Look deeper and see why He had to die our death. Do not skirt by it like it does not matter.

"So in this moment, Pilate thinks 'I hold the destinies of these two men in my hands. I know the Jews have a tradition that on a holy day -- I will release one of the prisoners on death row.' Pilate stands on this audacious stage who now presents Jesus, son of God -- verses Barabbas the thug and rebel. And says 'Alright, who do you want?' This is blasphemy, this is gone too far, there's no comparison, this is a rightful prisoner, a man who should be on death row. He is a rebel against wrong, and he is a bad man, a thug and a crook. He deserves the chains, and he deserves the crucifixion. Jesus? What has He done but heal, restore, deliver, set free, open blind eyes, and open deaf ears, heal the lame and the leper" What has Jesus done? Who do you want?' ---- We want Barabbas, give us Barabbas. They say 'Give us Barabbas' and the soldiers come up and they put the key in they take his chains, and unlock Barabbas from his chains and shackles, and he walks down the platform. Welcomed by all of his thug friends. "Yeah, the people love me, the people love me. I don't even know who this Jesus guy is, but all I know is my people love me." There seems to be no conscience in Barabbas. There's no record of him turning to Jesus and saying "I owe You everything now, for You have set me free." No. You don't see any of that in Barabbas. God knew that." -- Judah Smith

Now we see Judah begin to add to the text. The story of Barabbas is in all four Gospel accounts yet nowhere does it suggest that Pilate thought that he held the destinies of these two men in his hands. The stage is not audacious beloved. This is not some gnostic point in Scripture that hides a deeper truth. The Bible tells us point blank that Pilate knew the Jewish leaders had delivered Jesus up out of envy. He knew that Jesus was not guilty of what He was charged. This was not blasphemy beloved. Pilate was trying to get out of crucifying Jesus. The truly sad thing is the comparison he makes between Jesus and Barabbas is correct. What a glorious opportunity to discuss the actual Gospel and the need for everyone to repent of their sins! To compare the sinless Christ to the sinful world. What an opportunity missed however when instead, Judah decides to add more to the text. The text does not say that Barabbas was welcomed by all of his "thug" friends. Nowhere does it say that he was this mocking persona saying how much the people loved him. There is absolutely no indication of the conscience of Barabbas whatsoever in the text and to claim otherwise is to lie. Plain and simple. For all we know, Barabbas repented as the thief on the cross and became a Christ-follower. Nowhere does the Bible say anything about him after he is released and do you know what that means? It means it was not important enough to God to mention so Judah Smith has no business assuming and putting words or attitudes in the mouth and persona of Barabbas. Judah disproves a negative here and then assigns it as foreknowledge to God. For someone so concerned with blasphemy a few moments ago, he ought to be more careful with putting words in God's mouth.

'Jesus stood there silent. For He knew the will of His Father, and He said "It's fine Father, let them have Barabbas." For Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas, so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus. Barabbas thought it was the people that set him free" No, it was the love of of a heavenly Father. And when I look at the story, I realize who Barabbas really is. That's me. That's you. That's us. And I felt like I was reading this the other day, and I felt God speak to me "I love Barabbas.. I love him.." And I wrestled a little 'But God, he is a bad man..' "I love him.. and I wanted him to go free." 'But didn't you know that he probably would have never acknowledged the free gif-' "Yeah" But I love Barabbas.."' -- Judah Smith

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