“You can be anything you want to be!” If you grew up in the United States, there is a good chance that you heard that line more than one time. People do want the best for other people. We may differ on what the best looks like, but we do want the best for one another.
We also want the thing or person that seems to be in the way of that best to be out of the way. Sometimes our aggressiveness comes out to remove the blocker of the best. Convinced of the correct path, we lunge at our interference. We wish to end the power of the one that blocks our best.
For the Christian, Jesus enters the picture and claims he knows the way for the best choice. He shares with all who would listen that our desires need to align with Father God. God designed us. God made us for certain desires. We work the way he made us. Do this. Don’t do that. Love this. Hate that. Follow me. Turn away from the world.
We must align our lives with our Creator. Does our Creator wish for us to “be anything” or does he want us to be His son/daughter? What sort of person is this Creator? Is he close? Is he knowable? Is he concerned with my daily affairs? Jesus is God’s answer. Jesus is the son of the Father God. In fact he calls our Creator: Daddy or Abba. He is the son of the Abba God.
Jesus nears the end of His earthly ministry behind the walls of the Governor. In chains Jesus waits for a decision. As a tradition of Passover, mercy for a prisoner would be extended. The people would be able to decide. The option is Jesus or the other man named Barabbas. What an interesting choice. Two sons. In the language of the day Barabbas means Son of the Father. Bar in that language means “Son of”, so we have “Son of the Abba”.
Like us, they had a clear choice. Which Son to pick? Barabbas was a violent offender who rebelled against the Romans and lost. The people wanted the best for themselves and for their families. No question that they wanted the best choice. Who would they choose? Which Son? Which Father? Would they choose Jesus who went the way of peace; Salem in Hebrew, the language of the people? The whole city was named for peace. “Jeru” means “city of”. The City of Peace, Jeru-salem, was founded by the Father of Peace. Jesus, the son of the Father of Peace, had an ability to be freed from his sentence of death. Which Son would they choose? The son of peace or the son of violence?
“Give us Barabbas.” Basically, give us the violent option.
They chose the expedient path. The wide path which leads to destruction moves quickly. Fulfilled in 70AD, the city and its temple would be decimated by violence. The Kingdom that Jesus, the Son of Peace, brought would take over the world in a few hundred years. Less expedient, less quick, less obvious, but peaceful Jesus’ ways won out. The argument has been won in history but the war still rages in our hearts. Every generation has to choose again. Will we pick the narrow path of peace or the wide fast path of the world of violence? Who do we want to be our Father? The creator of the city of Peace, or Satan, the father of violence. The choice is yours. You can be anything you want. If history is your teacher, choose Jesus and His way of peace. Let’s choose this together!