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 new way of living
The New Covenant is not like the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, a person’s goal was to attain the righteous requirement of the law through their own self-righteous efforts. Deu 10:15-16. The New Covenant is a complete revision of how we are to live as God’s people. God Himself must write the New Covenant upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and must enable us to be part of the New Covenant by the power of new creation, which is from the fellowship of Yahweh. Jer 31:33. Heb 10:15-16.
It is important to recognise that we insult the New Covenant when we live according to our own righteousness. Paul recognised, and treated, every effort to find righteousness and identity expression through keeping the law, as excrement or ‘dung’. Php 3: 8. However, even when we recognise this, we cannot simply decide to cease living according to our own righteousness. Such an endeavour is, itself, self-righteous and futile.
Paul outlined the only way that we can be delivered from self-righteousness and can have the righteousness of God. He said, ‘That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.’ Php 3:10-11.
Attaining to the resurrection from the dead means living by resurrection life while still in a mortal body. Paul was making this same point in his letter to the Romans, when he wrote, ‘But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you’. Rom 8:11.
When Paul said, ‘if by any means’, he meant living and walking in whatever way the Spirit was leading him, as he journeyed each day in the fellowship of Christ’s offering, according to the will of the Father. Rom 8:26-27.