11th February 2017 - Josh Mackay
Barabbas was a man who lived in Jerusalem, Judea, around AD29 during the time of the Roman Empire. Barabbas was a troublemaker, a thief and a murderer. The punishment for his crimes was that he had to be crucified; which was a common punishment. This meant that he was to be nailed to a wooden cross until he would die of exhaustion and suffocation. Beyond these details, the Bible does not tell us very much about Barabbas, so the story described below is a realistic interpretation of what may have taken place. Often the Romans would force a criminal to make the cross that they were going to die on. This may have been to cause the criminal some mental suffering to go with the […]
A good day
We demonstrate faith when we accept that it is the wisdom of God for His will to be achieved through our participation in Christ’s offering and circumcision. In other words, it is the wisdom of God that He has appointed particular circumstances and sufferings for us each day. This is what it means to ‘suffer according to the will of God’. These sufferings include the small issues of life that cause us frustration and agitation. This principle of the cross is foolishness to those who are walking according to the flesh and who endeavour to avoid suffering. Sadly, the inevitable sufferings of these people are causing them to perish.
Earlier in his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that tribulation produces patience in the sons of God who, by faith, have received their introduction into the fellowship of offering. The tribulation is not a blessing, but the patience of God that is produced in a son of God as they suffer with Christ, is the blessing. For this reason, when a Christian is having ‘a bad day’ in faith, it is a good day!
What does this look like, practically? Our response in the midst of our daily sufferings determines whether or not the momentary and light afflictions that we experience during the day are working an eternal weight of glory for us. If we become angry, or view ourselves as being a victim, our suffering causes us to fatigue and, eventually, to die. However, if, by faith, we accept that our sufferings are from the hand of the Father, as a participation in the circumcision of Christ, we are able to overcome the world within us. When we set our mind this way, we recognise that we are unable to circumcise our own heart. In prayer, we commit to walking after the Spirit.