Bible Readings and Devotion for June 5-7, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
June 5 – the basis for the devotion is from this day’s readings
Devotion for June 5, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Every now and then a situation in God’s Holy Word gets me thinking. Hopefully your reading of the Bible gets you thinking as well. The questions we have lead to deeper questions and also growth of faith.
The situation which caught my attention from today’s readings is from John 18:38-40. This is the scene when Pontius Pilate asks if the people want to release Jesus Christ or Barabbas the bandit. They demand that Barabbas the bandit be released. It was part of a local tradition that the Romans release one prisoner as a favor at the time of the Passover. They chose the scoundrel over the strong and loving teacher, Jesus the Christ.
The thing which caught my eye this day is the name of each. We see more about this in other accounts in the Gospels. In Aramaic, the name Barabbas means, “Son of the Father.” Bar – Son; and Abba – Father. The scoundrel bandit’s name was “Son of the Father.” This gets even more interesting when we read the account of this in Matthew 27. We read there in verses 15-17, “Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?””
Here is a man with the common name, Jesus, which is the Greek form of Joshua or Yeshua. He has the last name or family name of “Barabbas” or “Son of the Father.” He is a sinner. A very bad man who was under sentence of death for his crimes. He is chosen to live over the one called Jesus the Messiah (Christ or Anointed One). The one who is the Son of the Heavenly Father is given over to die for the sinful son of another sinner. Son of the Heavenly Father for the Son of the father.
Each of us is the sinful son or sinful daughter of a sinful father. We are either a Barabbas or Batabbas (Bat – daughter). We are people who need the forgiveness of sin brought about by the eternal and loving Son of the Heavenly Father. We need his goodness, and we give thanks that he has willingly given himself on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. We, the sons and daughters of our fellow sinners, need the “great exchange,” also known as the “sweet swap.” Our sinful lives are given over to die on the cross with Jesus, and in exchange, we are granted life, forgiveness, love, and a right relationship with God the Father. Through the mercy and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and by the power of the Word and Holy Spirit, we are transformed from Sons and Daughters of sin into Sons and Daughters of our Heavenly Father.
Even though it was a tragedy that Jesus Barabbas was chosen over Jesus the Messiah, it was all for the good through God’s work. The jealousy and revenge were turned into the greatest act of God’s grace for the human race.
Almighty God, look with loving mercy on your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be given over to the hands of sinners, and to suffer death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.