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Jesus or Barabbas

Posted Jul 10, 2013 by Dejan Andov in The Son of God
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“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” 2 Cor. 11: 4

This verse describes very well the current state of God's people today. We are confronted with two different understandings of Jesus and we have to choose one of them. In fact we must choose between two Jesus’s, one true and one “another Jesus”, a false Jesus who, if elected, will lead people inevitably to another spirit and another gospel.

One of these two is Jesus’s is of our pioneers, the men who have studied the Word of God with great zeal and among whom was manifested the prophetic gift in the person of Ellen G. White. The Jesus of our pioneers is the true Son of God from the Father, born of Him in eternity and who inherited everything that the Father had. The following quote expresses well this Jesus:

“They [SDA’s] believe, on the contrary, that he was "begotten" of the Father, and that he can properly be called God and worshiped as such. They [SDA’s] believe, also, that the worlds, and everything which is, was created by Christ in conjunction with the Father. They believe, however, that somewhere in the eternal ages of the past there was a point at which Christ came into existence. They think that it is necessary that God should have antedated Christ in his being, in order that Christ could have been begotten of him, and sustain to him the relation of son.” (W.H. Littlejohn, RH April 17, 1883)

The second Jesus is the one of the church theologians of today, a completely different Jesus than the Jesus of our pioneers; one who is just called "Son of God", but who is not the true Son. The word "Son" is only a metaphor, a title or a role assumed in the plan of salvation. Being unborn from the Father, this Jesus did not have any family connection with Him, but is only called "Son of the Father". About this Jesus we read in the current writings of Church theologians:

“Our study has made it crystal clear that Jesus has always existed. Obviously, He has not always been the Son of God. He could not be the Son of God literally because He is God. He could not be the Son of Yahweh (Jehovah) because He is Yahweh (Jehovah). Ellen White says, “Jehovah is the name given to Christ.”12 His Sonship can only be figurative.” (Max Hatton, The Trinity Doctrine, 18)

All Seventh-day Adventist believers stands face to face with choosing one of these two Jesus’s.

It is interesting that this problem or mess in which God's people are today is not something new, or a surprise problem that occurs in the last days. As wise Solomon says, " The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun”. In other words, the history is repeated.

In the Word of God we read that Pilate, after the custom to release a prisoner, gathered all the people, showed them two men and asked:

“Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” Matthew 27:17

He presented two men, Jesus and Barabbas. We all know who Jesus was, but do we know who Barabbas was?
The Bible tells us that this man was a "notable prisoner" (Matt. 27, 16) and "a robber" (John 18.40). Also, Ellen White says he was "a false messiah (Christ)" in Desire of Ages page 733.

The name of this man, "Barabbas" comes from the Aramaic expression "bar Abbas" which means "son of the father". So according to the inspiration, Barabbas was a false messiah (christ) whose name was "son of the father".

Another interesting thing to note is that some ancient manuscripts of Matthew's Gospel call this Barabbas "Jesus Barabbas" or translated into our language, "Jesus, Son of the Father." Perhaps later gospel translations have omitted his name out of reverence for Christ.

What an interesting coincidence! In the presence of Pilate, the crowd of God's people have to choose between two men with similar names, they have to choose between two messiahs: first, Jesus who claimed to be the true Son of the Father and second Barabbas, someone with only the name that was "son of the father" but actually was not the son of the Father. It was only a name, a title, a metaphor.

The sad story shows us that God's people rejected the one who was truly the Son of the Father, and in His stead chose one that hath only a name, a title of "the son of the father" but was not really the son of the Father.

The Scripture also reveals the reason why the ancient people of God made this wrong choice:

“But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.” Matthew 27: 20

But not only did they persuaded the people, but they even excluded from the Church anyone who dared to believe in the true "Son of the Father." We read about it in John 9:22:

“These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.”

Can you see the parallel? God's people of today, like God's ancient people, once again stand face to face with a decision between two Jesus’s, one who is truly the Son of the Father, and one that bears only a name or a title or role, "son of the Father." And as it was then so is today, the spiritual leaders of the people, urge people to choose that Jesus who is the "son of the Father" in a figurative sense, and even exclude from the Church anyone who dares to say that this Jesus is false, a modern Barabbas and a Jesus who will take people to a different gospel and finally, to the same fate of the people of God of old. By this they fulfill the following prophecy:

“In His Word the Lord declared what He would do for Israel if they would obey His voice. But the leaders of the people yielded to the temptations of Satan, and God could not give them the blessings He designed them to have, because they did not obey His voice but listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer. This experience will be repeated in the last years of the history of the people of God, who have been established by His grace and power. Men whom He has greatly honored will in the closing scenes of this earth's history pattern after ancient Israel.” 13MR 379

Which Jesus will choose you, my brother or sister?