I can’t speak for you but I find my God…God Almighty totally amazing. Everything He has ever said or done has a reason. We don’t always understand, but the more we draw close to Him, the more God can reveal to us. When He does reveal the mystery behind something…share that with another.
We all have, or should have, questions when we read the Bible. Why did this happen, how, how should I apply what I learned and so on? The Bible is not just a book to read but it is “The Book” which can bring life to our souls.
How many questions, when you study God’s word, do you ask God about what you are reading? Do you really understand what you just read? Do you want to understand, or do you just read it and move on? Most people, I believe, are skimmers of the word of God. Oh, they might read it…but what do they really get out of what they read, and what do they do with what they read. Everything in the Bible is there for a purpose. You don’t and won’t understand it all…at least not until it is time for god to unravel something so you can understand it. God always shows up to unravel something at the right time.
So in my study here I came across a story about Yom Kippur. Oh, I have read it many times over and we know that to be in the Bible it had to have importance, but did or do we really understand the story? Maybe God will reveal something to you that He has not to me…praise God if He does for He can give us each something more in which to share. However, He won’t change the word…just explain it so we can understand it.
The sacrifice of Jesus should amaze all of us. It sure amazes me. My Lord and Savior gave His life for me/you. That is amazing. We were not there physically when that happened, but He did it for me way back then.
Yom Kippur, which is called the Day of Atonement, was a ceremony that took place once a year to atone for the sins of the people. It was not just a holy day, but the holiest day of the year. Only one person, the high priest, got to perform this ceremony.
The high priest would stand between two goats and they had to be identical in appearance. (Picture that in your mind for a moment) Since I am writing this when is Yom Kippur in 2023? Yom Kippur begins Sunday, September 24, at sunset and it ends Monday, September 25 at nightfall.
Back then, in Biblical days, the high priest would stand before the people and he would have a goat on either side of him. (picture that). He then would reach into something called a urn and pull out two lots…one in each hand. That is important by the way. He would take the word that was inscribed in Hebrew and place one on the head of the goat on the right and the other on the head of the goat on the left. Each had a different word inscribed upon it. One of the goats would die and one would be let go.
There was more here…there had to be a presentation of the two goats before the people who were there. They did this before the sacrifice of the one who was chosen to be killed as the atonement for the sins of all the people (not sins removed but covered until the next time of Yom Kippur) This ceremony went on year after year until (We will get to the until)
The one with the right word to be the sacrifice was to die for the sins of the people, while the other goat would be set free. But what does all this mean? Why? What is important in this story?
First there had to be the high priest, there had to be the two goats, there had to be the people to present them in front of. And there had to be a destiny for the goats. One sacrificed and one set free.
Jump ahead now to Jesus. Oh, my Jesus does amaze me more every day.
Who was this Barabbas? He was a criminal on the brink of receiving his execution, gets set free by the Jewish people when they are given a choice between releasing either Barabbas or Jesus from their penalty, a customary pardon as part of the Passover Feast.
More on Barabbas by the word of God:
Matthew 27:16 “At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.”
Mark 15:7 “The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection.”
Luke 23:18 “But they cried out all together, saying, ‘Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!’”
John 18:40 “So they cried out again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’ Now Barabbas was a robber.”
Acts 3:14 “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.”
Pilate, a Roman prefect, had Jesus tortured and tried to get the Jews to release him. Instead they chose Barabbas, and Pilate washes his hands of the deed of Jesus’ crucifixion.
So what is up with all of this? First of all nothing in the Bible is just stuck in the Bible. Every word has something to tell us. Pilate took Jesus and Barabbas and presented them before the people. One had to be chosen to die and one to live. Now, although we all would probably say the wrong decision was made…was it? Had Jesus not died for us we would be toast!
Pilate lets Barabbas go and declares Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus had done no wrong and we might think a great injustice was done because of this. However, it was Jesus who came to die for us.
Now remember they had to be identical in some way. How could Jesus and this Barabbas be identical in any way? They were. Let me explain. Jesus is the Messiah and is the Son of God, the Son of the Father…God Almigty. And? Barabbas has a story to tell here…Barabbas comes from two Hebrew words. Bar…which means son, and Abba which means father. He is son of the father. One is set free and one is condemned. Each one of these men bears the name son of the father. Have you missed that in your studies before? Everything God does is in order and has a reason. Nothing is by chance or just stuck there.
Jesus had to die. He went to the cross for that was His purpose to come…to be able to save us. Without the cross and His amazing sacrifice I shutter to even think what I would be like today.
I love the Lord and am so grateful that He took my place and your place on that cross. He hadn’t sinned…we did. He did that for us. That boggles my mind that the God of heaven loves me that much.
So what do I do with this story that I got another piece of the puzzle in my studies…I share it with someone….with you and whoever you might share it with too.
It was you and I that deserved to die for all the rotten sins we have done, but our Amazing Lord came down to earth and showed us so much about love, giving, and sacrifices. He is our example of all that is holy and good.
So instead of dying for my sins…I get to live. I got another chance at life and a chance to choose Him and have an eternal life. He set my soul free and it jumps for joy. He gave me the only thing that truly matters…my Savior! Oh, I love my family and many people and things…but only the Lord Jesus loved me enough even before I was born…to come, to go to a cross, and die for me. Now I have a choice I can reject Him or accept Him and live for Him. I choose to follow my Jesus and live for Him. He never said my life would be easy as many seem to something believe…He said in this world we would have tribulations.
John 16:33: I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
He didn’t promise any of us a rose garden…even the rose bush has thorns. We might have to deal with the thorns of life, but we can overcome whatever comes our way when/if Jesus is our Lord and Savior. As for me…I thank Jesus for what He did for us. As horrible as it was…He did it in love for me/us. That is my Amazing Lord.