This Week's Gospel Sermons

Not This Man, But Barabbas - Scott Richardson


Bible Study

Audio Sermons

Gospel Meetings



Contact Us

Welcome To The Jackson Drive Church Of Christ Website!

Jackson Drive Admonisher Archives

March 2010 Gospel Meeting

2009 Fall Series

October 2009 Gospel Meeting

June 2009 Gospel Meeting

Hiram Hutto - El Dareer Debate - October 1974

Schedule Of Services:

Sunday Morning:
Bible Study   9:00
Worship      10:00

Sunday Evening:
Worship       5:00

Wednesday Evening:
Bible Study   7:00



Jackson Drive's Address:

1110 Jackson Drive Athens, Alabama 35611



Scott Richardson



Malcolm Andrews

Owen Griggs



Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive


April 4, 2010


“Not This Man, but Barabbas”  

When Jesus was on trial before Pilate, the Roman governor could find no fault in him, and so announced to the Jews, “I find no guilt in him.” (John 18:38). It is evident that Pilate did not want to condemn an innocent man. It is also evident that he did not want to stir up the wrath of the Jews. In this situation he said to them, “But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:39). Pilate gave them a choice of one of two men, Christ or Barabbas. Barabbas was “a notorious prisoner” (Matt. 27:16), an insurrectionist and a murderer (Mark 15:7), a danger to society. Christ was an innocent man, “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth.” (1Pet. 2:22 ). He served humanity and “went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38 ). Surely the people would prefer the release of this righteous man. They would not dare have a desperado turned loose among them. But the people chose Barabbas instead of Christ. “So they cried out again, saying, “Not this man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.” (John 18:40).

People are still making the same kind of mistake today — still choosing robbers.

We have a choice between God and atheism.

One of the sublimest thoughts to occupy the human mind is the first statement in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1). Here is the most reasonable explanation of the origin of the physical universe that has ever been made. Here we are introduced to God, “almighty” (Gen. 17:1), “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalms 90:2), “good” (Psalms 86:5). The very idea of God lifts men up, gives them hope, and motivates them to a nobler plane of conduct. Atheism does one thing: it ignores indisputable evidence of the existence, the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of God. Many things atheism does not do: it does not offer man hope; it does not offer any incentive to a nobler life; it does not offer sympathy and compassion and help to the downtrodden and destitute. Atheism robs man of great and wonderful blessings in this life and the life to come —and yet some today choose this robber instead of the true and living God. “Not God, but atheism.”

We have a choice between redemption and guilt.

God has provided redemption for us through the precious blood of Jesus Christ his son. “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1Pet. 1:18,19). We reach and appropriate this redeeming blood in our obedience to the gospel, in being baptized into the death of Christ. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3). The guilt of sin robs man of both happiness and hope. “The way of the transgressor is hard.” (Prov. 13:15). “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23). “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8). Yet many today are choosing this robber, and by their actions are saying, “Not redemption in the precious blood of Christ, but the guilt of sin and its consequences.”

We have a choice between righteousness and worldliness.

No one can love God and the world at the same time. “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4). Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt. 6:24). “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1John 2:15-17). Worldliness makes an enemy of God and robs man of the hope of eternal life, and yet many today say, “Not Christ, but the world.”

We have a choice between truth and error.

Jesus said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32). Peter said that we purify our souls in obedience to the truth. (1Pet. 1:22). God’s word is the truth. (John 17:17). We, then, free ourselves from sin and purify our souls by our knowledge of and obedience to the word of God. On the other hand, error, that which is not the word of God, condemns. The prophet from Judah believed a lie and was condemned. (1Kings 13:18,24). “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2Thess. 2:11,12). Error robs man of any hope of heaven, and yet today people turning from the truth of God’s word to the dogmas and doctrines of men are saying, “Not truth, but error.”

We have a choice between obedience and procrastination.

If we are to enjoy salvation, we must obey Christ. “And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:9). Whenever we obey the Lord, it will have to be in the present. The past is gone and is irretrievable. We have no claim on the future, or any assurance of another day of life. Today is the day of salvation. (2Cor. 6:2). Procrastination is rebellion against God. One who delays his obedience is really saying to God, “I will obey, but I will not obey now.” Samuel told King Saul that rebellion was the same as idolatry. (1Sam. 15:23). Procrastination robs one of time that could be used in the service of the Lord, and it could easily rob one of the joys of heaven throughout eternity. Yet many are saying, “Not obedience, but further delay.”

Why did the people choose the robber Barabbasinstead of the righteous Christ?

Their ignorance caused them to make such a choice. Peter said that in ignorance they did it. (Acts 3:17).

Wrong teaching and wrong influence caused them to make such a choice. “Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas.” (Matt. 27:20).

Prejudice caused them to make such a choice. They had closed their eyes, stopped their ears, and hardened their hearts to the teaching of Christ. (Matt. 13:15).

Emotion, instead of reason, caused them to make such a choice. Pilate knew that for envy they had delivered up Jesus. (Matt. 27:18).

People of the first century made a terrible mistake in choosing a robber instead of Christ. May we not make the same mistake today. This applies to Christians who are in danger as well (Hebrews 6:6).

—S. Scott Richardson(With thanks to Billy Norris)

Copyright © 1998-2010, Jackson Drive church of Christ. All rights reserved.
Site maintained by Tim Hamilton, Marty Griggs & Bob Griggs, created by Michael Merritt, hosted by, Inc.