Tue | Oct 17, 2017

The choices that will make or break us

Published:Saturday | April 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey

Manchester:

One could arguably describe the crucifixion as the greatest crime ever committed. Matthew 27:16-27 recounts the story of the pleas the people made to have Jesus crucified and Barabbas, the murderer, freed.

But even today, our actions, according to Pastor Latoya Smythe-Forbes, replicate those of the people who chose Barabbas over Jesus.

"Pilate knew who Jesus wasn't, but he didn't know who Jesus was. Pilate represents men and women of power who lack the courage and conviction to do what is right. Jesus had done nothing to deserve death," she argued.

As Pastor Smythe-Forbes delivered the sermon to the Campbell's Castle Seventh-day Adventist Church recently, she explained: "The popular choice is not always right. When you are led by passion, judgement is, at times, compromised. It was criminal to prefer a murderer over the Prince of Peace. It was foolish to choose an enemy and reject the Prince."

"As it was then, so it is today. Christ could never have been the world's choice then, and He's not the world's choice today. We may feel glad that we are not like Pilate. We may say to ourselves, 'I would not have done that if I were there. I would not have allowed a criminal to go free', but we are just like Pilate. We choose Jesus when the hard times come. [After that] we sooner forget about Him.

 

EASY TO COMPARE

 

"It's easy to compare the bad things we do with the bad things others do, but we are all sinful beings who had Jesus sacrifice Himself for us," said Smythe-Forbes.

"We are like Barabbas. We think that because we are not murderers, we are not guilty; we think that we are good. Every man is a murderer, a criminal, a thief, a lawbreaker, a rioter, justly imprisoned and rightly condemned, free from punishment by the substitute of the One who died in our place. We are all sinners. Most of us think ourselves to be pretty good, and we aren't as bad as the fellow next door and it's true in a sense, but still, our hands are not clean."

At the end of the day, we are all left with a choice.

"All of us must ask the question: 'What shall I do then with Jesus?'. You can stand back and say, 'I don't care about Him'. You can tell Him to leave you alone. You can open your heart and say, 'Jesus, come into my life'. That's the best thing that you can do. The only way to be delivered from the judgement and wrath of God is to confess our sins," she ended.

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