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The Brutal Reality of Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross ("I Am Barabbas")



I recently discovered my new favorite song, called "I Am Barabbas", written by Josiah Queen. It quite literally rocked me to my core, humbling me in a way I didn't know I needed to be humbled. It brought a revival into my soul, one I craved, one that's hard to explain, and one that's not very comfortable, but one that I so very needed.


Friends, too often, we take advantage of what Christ did on the cross. Too often, we become numb it's importance, meaning, and true sacrifice. Which breaks my heart, but I know that I'm guilty of doing this too. The truth is, the sacrifice Christ made for us is mindblowing, unexplainable, and we are completely undeserving of it, but we have to make it a priority to continually reflect on what He's done for us. He gave up His entire life for us, and He deserves more than we could ever give Him in return, but we need to give Him all that we have, and that includes our attention.


Because here's the reality of Christ's sacrifice.


He saw us, when we were as deep in sin as could be, and He chose us anyway. He decided that He would give all He had, even His own life, to open the door for us to walk in a relationship with Him. He didn't die for us to be perfect, He died to give us an opportunity. He didn't die because it was guaranteed that the whole world would love Him and choose Him, no, He died knowing that He would be rejected, mocked, and scorned. He didn't choose a peaceful death; He chose a humiliating, brutal, excruciating death. He was willing to make a sacrifice that no one else could not for the fame or the glory or the honor, because He didn't get any of that, but because He wanted to prove that His love was enough to conquer all of our sin, all of the death, and all of the pain that each of us walk through. He died to reclaim us to Himself, to offer us adoption rights into eternity, and to rewrite both our identity and our future - which Satan had mangled. He died to cover us with joy, peace, and freedom in ways that we could have never imagined, so that we could walk in paradise with Him, not only in Heaven, but here on earth as well.


But the thing is, we didn't choose that. We, too, rejected His sacrifice. We decided that we were good enough, that we could do it on our own, that we got it figured out. With every seemingly small sin, every time we say the Lord's name in vain, every time we choose not to love a brother or sister, every time we disobey, every time we don't walk according to Scripture, we deny the sacrifice that Christ made for us. We reject all that He did, and even for a split second, allow that sin to separate us from Him.


The crazy part about all of this is that He knew that would happen. We are all broken, broken sinners, and He knew that our condition would not be perfectly healed by His sacrifice until we met Him face to face in Heaven. But He gave it all up anyways, so that instead of being met with shame and guilt, we would be met with grace and love when we turned away from Him. Which we have, we will, and we do. His sacrifice wasn't to create perfection but instead an intimate relationship. He didn't die to eliminate sin but to overcome it, so that we could have a relationship with Him despite our sinful nature. He didn't die to instill fear or shame into us, but instead purify and cleanse us - something He knew we could never do on our own.


I wrote the following little bit in response to the song I mentioned earlier. Every time I read it, I am genuinely moved to tears, because the weight of Christ's sacrifice weighs heavy on my heart. The vastness and depth of His love is absolutely mindblowing, completely stunning, and entirely perfect. I pray that it will never cease to amaze me, but should I grow numb to it's significance, may this song and little piece of writing bring me back to my knees.

 

I am the worst of these. I am the worst of sinners, daily rejecting Your name and grace and death.


And yet I am the one You replaced on the cross. You took my place. You endured the judgement I deserve. You carried all the weight of my sin. You saw me in my brokenness and my unholiness and desired me. You decided that I was worth Your very life, so much so that You went to hell and back for me. You love me more than my human mind can comprehend, and more extravagantly than any other person ever could.


Every day, by every "little" sin, I reject Your sacrifice. I decide I'm okay on my own, even for a split second, that my way is better. My very existence should defile Your name, yet You choose me anyway.


You love me anyway, every day, to the point of death.


A love I can never understand, never deserve, never earn.


You do it anyway.


Thank You Jesus for loving me anyway.

 

This love is vulnerable and intimate, personal and raw. It's risky and unlike anything we've ever been offered, but it remains a constant invitation for us to choose, believe, and walk in, each and every moment of each and every day.


So.


Our response?


To choose it. That's where our response starts. It starts with coming before Christ, humbly and broken, right where we're at, and accepting it. There's no application or prerequisites. Just us. We choose Him and surrender to Him, every area of our lives, and embrace this radically different kind of love.


And then, we walk in it. We relearn our identity and what godly behavior looks like. We learn to love the people around us in a similarly radical, risky, vulnerable love. We learn how to seek the Father God in our daily lives, through Scripture and prayer. We begin to encounter the divine, recognize the Holy Spirit's whispers, and grow in discernment. Walls in our once hardened heart begin to fall, and sin begins to lose its power in our life. We learn to walk in this sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated for us, and in the process, our lives begin to have an air of joy, peace, and freedom.


But it all begins with choosing it.

 

This is an emotional topic because it hits so close to my soul. Jesus' death isn't just a story or for someone else, it's for me. He had me in mind on that cross, just like He had you in mind while He was hanging there. He gave it all up for you and I, and that radically grand gesture of love simply shakes everything about my life. How could I continue living my life the same way that I always had, now that I know about this love? How could my life look the same? How could I believe the same things as someone who doesn't know this kind of love? How could I not share it every chance I got?


I don't know, friends.


How has the reality of Christ's death hit you a little harder recently? What emotions does that evoke from you? Let me know down in the comments below - this is a safe space for conversation, and I love to hear from you!

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