Summary: We have the freedom of choice who we will serve in life ... Jesus or the devil.
MATTHEW 27:15-26 “JESUS OR BARABBAS”
A) I want our minds to go back in time … Jesus’ earthly ministry is coming to an end!
(1) PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE!
* For approximately 33 ½ years, He lived looking forward to the cross!
* Christ must’ve seen its shadow across His path all the way from the manger to Calvary.
* Now He had instituted the supper and has gone into Gethsemane to pray.
* As the disciple slept, He knelt in the moon light under those olive trees.
A) The shadows of night were closing in on His soul! * Listen to Him, “O my Father, if it be …”
* See Him hold in His hand the cup of human iniquity and drink its dregs into His soul.
* The blackness of the contents of that cup goes beyond description! * Analyze its mixture …
* A young man pounces upon an innocent girl, strangles and chokes her to death and ravishes her
in his lust … Stir rape and murder into that cup!
* Another, who at an altar of marriage, when the question was asked, “Will you be true to her
until death alone shall part you,” answers with an, “I do.”
* Tramples that vow under his unholy desires … Stir adultery into that cup!
B) A man takes a two year old child and chokes her to death while having sex with her …
* Stir child molestation in that cup! * Man kills his wife and children out in his front yard …
* Stir drunkenness and stupor into that cup! * Homosexuality …
* Take man’s most horrible crimes and mix them all together in that cup!
* No wonder Jesus prayed, “If it be possible …” * But it wasn’t possible!
C) If there had been any other way that men could be saved, God would have planned it!
* There was no other way! * Christ must drink that poisonous cup of sin!
* Watch Him, as He places it to His lips, hands trembling …….
* The agony is so intense that the pores of His skin open, and sweat as great drops of blood,
trickles down His cheeks and falls to the ground!
(2) THE ARREST AND TRIAL!
* The night’s blackness was suddenly scattered by the light of flaming torches.
* A mob of soldiers, led by Judas Iscariot entered the garden, and placed a kiss on Jesus’ cheek.
* Christ was taken captive and led away to Caiaphas, the high priest, to be tried before the
Sanhedrin, a council of seventy Jews. * They accuse Him of being a blasphemer!
A) In their angry rage, they hit Him in the face with closed fists! * They firmly gripped His
beard, and yanked it from His cheeks, ripping the flesh from His cheek bones!
* His eyes were buffeted until they turned black with bruises and clotted together with blood!
* His face was beaten into a mass of mutilated flesh, and His warm, sticky blood ran freely to the
ground … He was giving it to God for our sins!
B) The Jews couldn’t execute Him … The power of death was out of their hands!
* He must be tried and condemned in the Roman court, so He was led away to Pilate, the governor!
* Pilate questioned Jesus and found Him innocent, but learned that He was from Galilee, so he sent
Him to Herod! * Herod found nothing wrong with Him and returned Him to Pilate!
* The maddened mob was screaming for His blood, “Crucify Him,” they kept screaming!
* So Pilate commanded Him to be scourged … Later delivered Him to be crucified!
(3) THE CRUCIFIXION! * The scourging … Jesus’ face twisted as the weight of that scourge
plowed into His back, splattered the blood, and cut the meat off His ribs!
* With every crushing blow, hot flashes of pain flooded His body.
* The white naked ribs were showing through the torn flesh!
* The blood ran freely down His scourged back and puddled on the ground!
A) The soldiers took Jesus into the common hall and mocked Him as being King ……
* From the common hall, they begin their rugged journey to Golgotha, a place of a skull.
* They reach the spot and there they crucified Him along with two thieves.
* “Father, forgive them …” * “This day …” * “Woman …” * “My God …” * “I thirst.”
* “It is finished.” * “Father, into thy hands …” * His head slumped upon His chest.
B) His bloody, tangled hair matted together in His face! * The tense, twitching body relaxed!
* The blood dripped slowly from the wounds in His hands and His feet.