Death of a Child – Another Take

Based on 1 Kings 14

Voice 1:     If he recovers, what kind of future awaits him?

Voice 2:     He will follow the evil ways of his father. There is no one to show him a different way to live.

Voice 3:     His ability to accomplish good will not be recognized and nurtured. His life as an adult will not be fulfilling. Even if he tried to do well,      there  will be no one to mentor him. The ways of society will be too strong for one man to fight against. He is already doomed.

Voice 1:     What if he came to live with us?

Voice 2:     That would be a merciful thing to do. Then his illness would be addressed in the best possible way.

Voice 3:     His parents will surely oppose such a decision.

Voice 1:     But we have the power and authority behind us. They will have no say in the matter.

Voice 2:     I do take pity on this lad. He would have a better life with us.

Voice 3:     It’s settled then?

Voice 2:     The lad’s mother has an appointment today with our spokesman concerning her son’s illness.

Voice 1:     Very well. Inform Mr. Ahijah that the child known as Abijah, son of Jeroboam, King of Israel, will be removed from his house this day.

Voice 3:     The mother will be devastated.

Voice 1:     Nevertheless, we can provide for the lad better than she and her husband can.

Voice 3:     Mr. Ahijah’s words will sustain her as she and the lad’s father make funeral arrangements.

Voice 2:     A place is already prepared for Abijah.

 

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Freedom! What Next? – Another Take

Based on John 18

“You’re free to go!” These words still echo in my ears – as if they were spoken yesterday.

I didn’t believe the guard until he loosed my chains, led me to the outside door, opened it and then shut it behind me.

That day I moved among the people as if cloaked with invisibility – an important requisite for my profession as thief. I listened to their comments about a man called Jesus, supposedly King of the Jews.

I thought that if I had to be captured, it was lucky for me that it was close to Passover. And, if I was going to be put to death, lucky for me that this man called Jesus came along.

As the guard led me through the prison halls, he answered my questions of “Why?” He explained that the mob had requested me to go free – a tradition at this time of year. In my place Jesus would be crucified.

Common sense told me to quickly leave the city and keep a low profile. I certainly didn’t want to be recaptured for another time of judgment. But curiosity prompted me to hang around, to find out more about my replacement. Telling a fellow thief that he would be in paradise with Him was most confusing.

I was extremely grateful that He was on the cross and not me, but the sorrow of His mother and friends stirred up emotions within me that had been buried for many years.

Today, as I pass through these same streets, I hear the priests complaining about the significant drop in Passover offerings each year. They blamed it on the increase of Believers that Jesus was God’s Passover Lamb.

I know from past experiences that people in the villages and cities around Jerusalem and beyond are celebrating the crucifixion and resurrection of their Messiah. Hearing them singing praises and lifting up prayers of thanksgiving, I feel like barging in and shouting, “You should thank me. Without me, Jesus wouldn’t have been put to death. I was the first to benefit from His substitution.” But I don’t. I just steal away.

It is true. I reaped from this man’s sacrifice. I gained freedom at the cost of His death. But the nagging question never leaves me. It robs me of my sleep, invades my work, and captures my leisure.

Freedom, Barabbas, to do what?