Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of October 3, 2004


WHICH OF THE TWO WILL WE RELEASE

Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want  me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  Matthew 27:16

Jesus was standing before Pilate and the Jewish leaders were crying out false accusations against Him. It was Pilate’s custom to release a prisoner at the feast of Passover and he wanted to release Jesus.

According to Matthew 27:16, Pilate offered to release Jesus or Barabbabas, a notorious prisoner. The leaders stirred the multitudes to ask for Barabbas. Pilate then asked the multitudes:

“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”  Matthew 17:21

It was Pilate’s decision to make. And under the influence of others he released the notorious prisoner rather than the One “who went about doing good.”

Daily, all believers face the same decision Pilate faced.

In Romans 7:20 Paul writes:

Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Paul thought of his sin nature as another person living inside him and expressing itself. Also, Paul knew that Jesus lived in him and expressed Himself. Paul knew he could release either his flesh to express itself or Jesus to express Himself.

All believers have the same possibility. We can live out the exchanged life and permit Jesus to express Himself through us. We can fail to live out the exchanged life, and, often, the flesh will express itself through us.

As others influenced Pilate to release a notorious prisoner, some people would influence us to release the flesh and its works. We can thank the Lord, though, that there are some who want us to release the Lord Jesus for His expression of Himself through us.

As with Pilate, it is our choice to make.