The Great Exchange
Happy Easter to all of you. While this pandemic is wiping out parts of the population, how do we celebrate Easter? I have compiled my thoughts and presented them as a video with prayer, hoping that these words may be a source of comfort and healing.
On this Easter day, I want to present before you the best exchange that ever happened in the history of the world through a movie scene. There was one poignant scene in the movie The Passion of Christ that will never leave the mind of anyone who had watched it. Jesus was standing before Pilate with his hands tied to Roman soldiers and Barabbas, a rebel, a thug, was brought to the same stage so that the people can choose whom they would like to be released on that holy day as per their custom. It seems to us as though Pilate and the crowd hold the destinies of these two men who were standing on that stage. It is a chilling moment… we sit there wondering who the people would choose. To our surprise, people choose Barabbas.
The soldiers are unlocking Barabbas from his chains, and he laughs and walks out of that place freely, giving a strange look at Jesus. When Barabbas gave that strange look at Jesus, it seemed as though Jesus was talking to His Father, Father let Barabbas go free. I am happy to take his place. Father God allowed His Son Jesus Christ to take the place of Barabbas so that Barabbas could go free because God loves Barabbas.. Bible says while we were still sinners, Christ died for us because of His everlasting love. He died for us so that we can walk away free, not bound to sin and satan.
When I saw that scene of Barabbas and Jesus, I remembered those 5 days when I was hooked up to a ventilator some 16 years back. Now I understand that on that day I stood in that same place of Barabbas When I saw the vision of the Cross and His blood washing away my sins, there was this great exchange. Jesus – the Son of God taking my place and allowing me to go free. Jesus purchased an unworthy person like me that day with His crazy love and His precious blood. I deserved death. I deserved punishment. I deserved sickness.. But Jesus said.. I love you. You don’t need to face any consequences. Give me everything..your pain, your burden, your sin, and your bitterness. I will give you a great exchange. I will give you peace, I will give you joy, and I will give you beauty..
That is the great exchange of my life. This pattern of the great exchange ..can be seen even from the beginning of the history of our world. In the first chapter of the Bible, we come across a man called Abraham, who was asked to sacrifice his own son Isaac. Abraham binds Isaac and lays him on the altar to be sacrificed, and when he lifts his knife to slay him, there was a voice from heaven …Do not harm your son. I will provide the sacrificial lamb… God meant the sacrificial lamb … Jesus Christ… to take the place of Isaac. When the lamb of God, Jesus Chris +t was sacrificed on Calvary, God was saying to you and me I want you. Satan and Hell cannot have you. You are mine.. I have purchased you with a heavy price. Because of this exchange, we can say boldly that Calvary is not the end… It is the beginning…Good Friday is not the end… but Sunday is coming… On Sunday, the third day Jesus rose again. That Friday, when Jesus was hanging on the Cross for 6 hours, the disciples thought that it was the end..but only on Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, they found that it was not the end but the beginning.
When Jesus was put to death, the disciples were like us locking themselves inside their rooms in fear… they forgot that just a few days before Jesus taught them that He would rise again.. They were scared that the Roman soldiers will come and kill them also just as they did to Jesus. They forgot everything about Jesus. Even the faithful women took the spices and went in search of a dead body to anoint it on Sunday morning- the Easter day.
But there was a great earthquake… the angel of the Lord rolled the stone away so that these women can see something awesome… What the women saw was spectacular..the tomb was empty, the body of Jesus was missing, and in that place, there were two shining angels… what is the first thing that angels said?… why are you looking for the living among the dead… He is not here .. He is risen..yes He is risen.. Cross could not break Him, Death could not stop Him, Tomb could not bind Him, and Hell could not hold Him.
It is not Friday.. It is Sunday… Jesus Christ defeated death..and grave.. Paul says O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, On that Sunday, every satanic power cried out… Oh we lost our power. we lost these men and women.. they are covered now by the power of God… we cannot touch them.. there is power, there is a direction in their life, now they have a direct connection, and they get command even from the very throne of God..Yes it is not Friday; it is Sunday..there is power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today Jesus stands before us and says just as He spoke in Rev. 1: 18, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold. I am alive forevermore. And Because I live you too will live. Yes, because He lives, we can face tomorrow.
The world needs it very much..the world needs to know this great exchange..Death has lost its hold. It is not the end.. It is just a movement into a beautiful place..when the trumpet sounds we will all rise again, and we will see Jesus Christ face to face. Even death has lost its power because Jesus took the place of Barabbas. Jesus took the place of Isaac. Jesus took the place of me. He took the place of you. He changed our mourning into dancing..