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 […]
Submitting to our Master
A slave of Christ receives the word of their Master as a command. In his address to the Jewish council, Stephen declared that it was ‘the God of glory’ who appeared to Abraham and commanded him to depart from his country, and his relatives, in order to enter the land of promise. Abraham’s obedience to this command enabled him to receive the promise of sonship. Similarly, King David declared, ‘The Lord [Yahweh] said to my Lord [Adon, or Master], “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’. David was referring to the Son of God as Adon, or his Master. These men acknowledged the lordship of Christ toward them, and received His word as a command. Consequently, they were described as ‘the friends of God’.
Jesus explained that we, also, could be His friends. He said, ‘You are My friends if you do whatever I command you’. His commandment to us is to love one another in the same manner in which He loved us. Christ loved us by laying down His life, or offering Himself for us, according to the command of the Father. Doing what we are commanded by Christ makes a person a disciple. Jesus said, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed’.
The word that Christ, a believer’s Friend, delivers them to, is the teaching concerning His death, burial and resurrection. This is the doctrine of baptism. It calls a believer to fellowship with Christ, for an obedience of faith, to learn offering. The doctrine of baptism becomes their master. The implication of the doctrine of baptism becoming a person’s master is that they join Christ in the fellowship of the offering that He made as the Slave of Yahweh. This is what it means to learn as a disciple from Christ, the Master.