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?

Cross And Tomb – Part 5 of 5

Cross And Tomb. CAT. There is something interesting about these letters. Used with the word ‘scan’, it names a medical device used to examine soft tissue like muscle, blood flow and lesions.

Perhaps the dusts carried to the Cross and Tomb became a spiritual CAT scan. It checks our heart’s condition (muscle), quality of life (blood) and health (lesions).

No one washed the feet of Jesus. Maybe that was God’s intention. In our humanity, we needed a Savior. The judgment of our sinful nature should have been on us, but Jesus took that judgment on Himself instead.

Without the dusts, He could not have been our Propitiation (1 Jn. 4:10). Without the dusts, the achievement of the Sacrificial Lamb (Re. 5:12 implied) would have been lost. Without the dusts, the accomplishment of the Reconciler (Col. 1:20) would not have happened.

I am so grateful that no one washed Jesus’ feet. My alienation from a Holy God was shown in the Dust of Humanity. That spiritual deprivation required payment as shown in the Dust of Judgment. The resurrection of God’s Son left the dusts behind. My separation was buried in His salvation.

One question remains. What does washing the feet of others look like?

Part 1: Wash My Feet? blogged 3/18/13

Part 2: Wash Jesus’ Feet? blogged 3/20/13

Part 3: Dust of a Different Nature blogged 3/23/13

Part 4: Crucifixion and Burial blogged 3/25/13