The quote rang out in my mind:
"Your past and present circumstances do not have to determine your future or your identity."
This quote would become my motto. A new identity in Christ. It not only became a foundation for much of what I teach and preach today, it became the premise for a series of books I've written called The Freedom Series.
God provided a way for all of mankind to undergo a transformation of such proportion that everything we've ever done would not only be forgiven, it would be completely eradicated through a legal term: Justification.
Justification simply means just as if you've never sinned.
And justification gives us a new identity in Christ!
Governor Pilate did not want this case before him. He had sent it to Herod Antipater, the Tetrarch of Galilee.
Here it was before him again.
Standing in front of him was the man Jesus of Nazareth. Behind Him was the unruly Jewish mob demanding the crucifixion of the one called “King of the Jews” while calling for the release of a rebel.
Pilate was angry; angry that he had to come out of his palace to deal with Jewish leaders who were afraid of defiling themselves before Passover; angry that he had deal with yet another Jewish religious issue; angry that they were demanding the execution of this innocent man.
The significance of this scene might have escaped the Roman Governor; but his wife knew. “Have nothing to do with that just man…” was her message to him. “I have suffered many things in a dream because of Him.”
The crowd was screaming louder as the Jewish leaders agitated them to call for the crucifixion.
The two men stood in front of the Governor, facing the crowd.
One had been up all night; face swollen from several beatings; bruised and bloody from the mocking abuse; wearing a very expensive purple robe given to Him by Herod.
The other man had just been brought from prison; a known rebel; convicted of robbery and murder.
Barabbas was his name.
An exchange was about to be made; an exchange that would affect eternity.
“Give us Barabbas and crucify Jesus who is called the Christ,” crowd yells!
Barabbas is the crowd choice. Bar – son of; Abbas – father – the son of father. The crowd is calling for the Governor to release “the son of father” and crucify Jesus.
Jesus is the Hellenic form of Jeshua (Jehovah is salvation).
He was raised in Nazareth as the son of Joseph. Jeshua bar Joseph (Jehovah has added). That was His earthly family. Actually, Joseph was not His father.
He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. His father was God, Himself. His proper name is Jesus Son of God - Jeshua bar Jehovah.
Governor Pilate is about to exchange Barabbas (the son of father) for Jeshua (Jehovah is salvation) bar Jehovah.
Can you imagine?
God will allow “the son of father” to be set free, just as if he had never done anything wrong.
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He will allow the completely innocent “Jeshua Son of God” to be condemned, scourged and put to death.
The innocent is being exchanged for the guilty. It is a visual of what was happening at that moment in the heavenly spirit realm.
The just condemned on behalf of the unjust!
Have you caught the significance? Do you realize what this means?
You have a new identity in Christ!
When you are born again, you and I no longer HAVE to live out of our old identity.
You are no longer Barabbas – son of your father having to live by the iniquity, sins and generational curses of your lineage.
You are Bar Jehovah – a son of God.
Jesus said, “But as many as receive Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12).
You have a new identity with a new lineage.
You no longer have to live “after the flesh” and the old identity.
You have never been abused. You have never been raped. You have never been drunk. You have never been loaded. You have never been adulterous. You have never been a liar or a thief.
You are a whole new creation living in the power of that same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. The exchange has been made. You are redeemed! (Romans 8:11-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
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