June 27, 2009

The Guilty Acquitted

Mark 15:1-15

“Why? What crime has he committed?”
Mark 15:14


DNA testing has changed the process in which crimes are investigated and criminals are prosecuted. Persons whose DNA links them to a particular crime are more likely than ever to be convicted. DNA testing can also lead to the acquittal of innocent people who have been accused of crimes they did not do.

Nobody wants to see a guilty person escape justice or an innocent person condemned. But that’s what happened at the trial of Jesus. On that day, a guilty man named Barabbas was set free while an innocent man, Jesus, was put to death.

How horribly unjust this was! How was it that a known criminal was set free, while an innocent person was condemned to die?

To answer that, we need to know the rest of the story. From a human standpoint Barabbas deserved to die. But in the plan of God, Barabbas was an example of all sinful human beings, a person clearly guilty yet freed of punishment because Jesus Christ took his place.

You and I, like Barabbas, deserve judgment for our sins. But because Christ died in the place of sinners and then rose from the dead, we who believe in him have the hope of eternal life.

That’s the good news of the Bible. Let’s share it with others and give God the praise and thanks!

Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins and giving us eternal life. We praise you for the good news of salvation. Help us to live gratefully for you each day. In your name, Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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