August 20, 2023

This Sunday we will see Jesus stand trial before Pontius Pilate and Herod. And though declared innocent three times by Pilate (and apparently Herod agreed)…

“I find no guilt in this man (4).”

“I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him (14).”

“I have found in him no guilt deserving death (22).”

…the people – given the choice of releasing him or an insurrectionist and murderer named Barabbas – will cry for Jesus’ bloody execution on a Roman cross and Barabbas will walk free. It’s a profound foreshadowing of the transaction that was really about to happen at the cross, where…

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).”

Here’s how J. C. Ryle would encourage us to respond to this message as we hear it preached this Sunday.

“If we are true Christians, let us daily lean our souls on the wondrous thought that Christ has really been our Substitute, and has been punished in our stead. Let us freely confess that, like Barabbas — we deserve death, judgment, and Hell. But let us cling firmly to the glorious truth that a sinless Savior has suffered in our stead — and that believing in Him, the guilty may go free.”

This Sunday Jason Oakes will be preaching Luke 23:1-15 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you take time to read this passage and pray for each as they prepare? And let’s pray for one another that…

“…this grace of God that has appeared, bringing salvation would keep training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives as we wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (paraphrased from Titus 2:11-14).”

See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!


Rock of Ages recording by the Worship Initiative

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law’s demands
Could my zeal no respite know
Could my tears forever flow
All for sin could not atone
Thou must save, and thou alone