Who are you?


Isaiah 53:3-4“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.”

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This is the verse today. Quite appropriate considering how close we are to celebrating the Passover and Easter.

Actually, last night I read something that may interest some of you who grace me with your presence on my blog. I came across something very interesting about the Passion narrative…

There’s a theological term called “corporate solidarity.” A “corporate solidarity” is where when one person represents a larger group of people, where one man or one woman is a picture of a bigger group of people. And in the Passion narrative, the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus,
there are a number of important “corporate solidarities” – people who are pictures of us. One of the most important is someone called in Aramaic, “Bar-Abbas” – “a son of the father.”

Why is Bar-Abbas important? Well, he represents us. Bar-Abbas was a sinner of the worse kind. Aren’t we sinners much like that too? Yet, he was set free and a man who was completely sinless took Bar-Abbas’ place at the crucifixion…

And so we have “Bar-Abbas.” Not a Hebrew name but an Aramaic one which means literally, “son of the father.” “Who shall I release to you? Bar-Abbas or Rabbi Yeshua Bar-Jozef ? Do you want me to give you this terrorist, this murderer, this criminal, this predator, or do you want me
to give you this rabbi from Galilee who taught love, peace, and forgiveness – who raised the little girl from the dead, who made the blind see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk – this man of love? Who shall I give you: Barabbas or Rabbi Yeshua?” And the same crowd who a few days before had been singing, “Hosanna!” now yelled, “Crucify Him! Give us Barabbas!”

If someone is born again – if they have repented of their sin and accepted Jesus, they have another name. That name is “Bar-Abbas.” Each of us has become a son of the Father. “Give us Barabbas!” We have become a son of the Father because Jesus was accursed of the Father for our sin. “Give us Barabbas!” It is always like that. [more can be read HERE]

There are many other ‘Corporate Solidarities’ in the Passion narrative.

Just think about the man who carried the cross for Jesus. Have you ever wondered about why that happened and why Jesus didn’t carry His own cross? Could it be that under Roman law each person was meant to carry their own cross which represented their own sin? Of course Jesus wouldn’t carry the cross, He was sinless! This was a public example to all those who witnessed this; that Jesus was being crucified even though no sin could be found in Him.

Do you have your own cross to bear?

And what about the two thieves who joined the Messiah at Calvary. One said…

“Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” (Luke 23)

But the other one came to recognise something else about himself as he hung on the cross…

But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; (Luke 23)

This thief saw that he deserved to die and he also saw that Jesus had done nothing wrong to warrant such an execution! So he repented and asked for forgiveness and it was granted.

Which thief are you?

There are many, many examples of ‘corporate solidarity’ throughout the Bible. I just wanted to show some examples that related to me, the sinner, as I approach this time of Passover and Easter. It is something that I want to reflect on and understand fully.

So yes, I am Bar-Abbas because I have been set free.

I am Simon of Cyrene and I vow to continue to follow Jesus to the crucifixion  just as Simon did…

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in
from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)

I am that thief who recognises sin in my life and continues to repent at the cross of Jesus.

Who are you?


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