This fresh set of Daily Devotions is being provided for our LCA/NZ family, friends and visitors to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we face unsettling times. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the LCA/NZ’s Church@Home resources to encourage us and build trust in our Heavenly Father during this season of uncertainty and physical isolation.
by Pastor Chris Mann
This is the fourth in a series of seven devotions on the theme of Seven Great Stories to Tell One Day.
Click here for your printable verse to carry with you today.
‘So Pilate … released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder’ (Luke 23:24a,25a).
Read Luke 23:13–25
In the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic there are lots of stories of pain, sorrow and heartbreak. But in the midst of the stories of pain are great stories – stories of healing, hope, and love. Now that we are on the other side of Easter, we can look back and see some of the stories that we may have skipped over in the crucifixion of Jesus. And because he lives in us, his story becomes our story.
One of the stories we read in the crucifixion is the story of the last-minute reprieve of Barabbas.
It is amazing how Barabbas gets to go free. He hasn’t done anything to deserve going free. He just happens to be there. He just happens to get caught up in the life of Jesus. We have no knowledge of his repentance, or his gratitude. We don’t hear the next steps in his story. The story is simply there.
Some of us are less affected than others during this time. We are all affected to a degree, yes. And some of you reading this will be experiencing something quite devastating, and for you, we pray.
But others of us have stories of surprising grace, unexpected reprieves, suffering that should have happened, but didn’t. We, of course, all have this story in Jesus taking our place on the cross.
Let us tell those stories, and then let us build on them with stories of thankfulness, gratitude, worship, and service.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the last-minute reprieve of Barabbas. Thank you that you have also saved us by your death and resurrection, and the giving of faith. Help us to be thankful for all reprieves, and help us to live a new story. Amen.