sermon: You Are My Witnesses That I Am God
Great Cloud of Witnesses
Martin G. Collins
Given 29-Oct-16; Sermon #1348; 68 minutes
We are not alone in our faith, but we have an overwhelming cloud of witnesses, both from the physical and spiritual realm. Christ's trial and crucifixion were not historical accidents; rather, God prophesied both events in minute detail in Old Testament scriptures. In the incident of Barabbas, the Scriptures amplify the message in quadraphonic sound. Barabbas, whose name means "the son of the father," likely represents all of us who have experienced redemption from death because of Christ. Pilate, who realized that Jesus was innocent, gave the mob the opportunity to request freedom for Jesus as one of his stratagems to free Him. However, the angry mob instead asked for the freedom of Barabbas, an insurrectionist, thief and murderer, a representative of every sinner who has ever lived. Barabbas must have considered himself "lucky" or perhaps was profoundly grateful to the Man who died in his place. Like Barabbas, we also deserved to die, but do we consider ourselves lucky or are we profoundly grateful? Herod, Pilate, Pilate's wife, the thief in the cross, and the centurion knew that Christ was innocent, but the angry mob, filled with carnal nature could not countenance the gap between its lack of righteousness and the absolute sinlessness of the real Son of God. The Pharisees fabricated a half dozen false charges against Jesus to pull a bait-and-switch con on Pilate, who ultimately submitted to the mob's demand that Jesus be crucified for 'blasphemy,' having declared Himself to be the Son of God, a claim corroborated as the truth by His own Father, His own testimony, angelic beings, shepherds in the fields, the four Gospels and many human witnesses who boldly risked their lives for their testimony—truly a great cloud of witnesses which we should seek to join.
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