Release

prison-145284_640Matthew 27:17: So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Barabbas never thought that he would experience release (Matthew 27). He was a bad boy and he has been caught, he was a murderer and now surely his end has come. He was a troubler and now was his time to be troubled.

He had sinned and he awaits punishment. He had disturbed the peace and he was not going to have any. There is almost no greater evil you can do than take another life. That was what he did, the worst possible, and he expected no goodness. But goodness, favour was extended to him nevertheless, but through and because of Jesus he was released. The wrath for the sin of humanity (which Barnabas symbolised) was on Jesus and (John 1:29) mercy, undeserved mercy was on us. Barnabas was bound but was now released because of Jesus.

To be released is to be liberated, for Barabbas it meant to pass from death to life. He was released from the consequences of his error. What did he do to be released? Nothing. Except walk once the declaration of freedom was made. Jesus made the way and he just had to walk. The same for you, Jesus was bound to the cross so that we can walk free.

We are released from the hold of sin, sickness, death because of Jesus. He was afflicted so that we would no longer be? We only have to embrace what he provided as our own reality; that it is true that when Jesus was going through pain on the cross, and on the way to it, your name was on him, that he was in your stead.

Crown of thorns

He had a crown of thorns on his head, and as the blood was flowing down, our mind was being released, from the hold of satanic bondage. His head was messed up, so that our heads can be correct. Now our minds can now be renewed, transformed (Romans 12:1-2). The processes of our minds can be purified.

Before God destroyed the first world, one of the accusations against man was that the imagination of his mind was evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Now with the crown on Jesus’ head we can be released from bondage to erroneous thoughts. It does not matter the wrong forces that seems to have invaded your minds, fear, lust, hopeless etc., you can experience liberation in the realm of the mind because of Jesus.

Paul said we can be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23). Jesus was given a crown of thorns, because what goes on in our minds, inside our brain, rules our life. The crown of thorns on Jesus releases us from the things that wants to negatively influence of the mind, and exposes us it to spiritual influence, so that when we hear the word of God our minds can be changed. Because of Jesus we can walk mentally free, with our minds uncluttered. We can take a new path opened up in our thought alley leading us to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Carrying the cross

Jesus carried a big cross, it weighed him down and after sometimes he did not have enough strength to go on with it. His carrying a weight means we do not have to carry any weight (Matthew 11:28). Any heavy weight you carry is a matter of choice, not by force. Jesus carried his own weight by force. And I am talking about mental and spiritual weight (e.g. oppression). Jesus carried a big weight so that you will only carry the easy yoke of his purpose for you.

The writer of the book of Hebrews says that we should lay aside every weight and sin that usually makes us fall (Hebrews 12:1-2). The difference between Christian and non-Christian is that the former have the choice to lay down their burden on Jesus, while the former would continue to be burdened as there is no way of escape except Jesus. They search for peace for rest, and until they meet Jesus, they are lost. Jesus is the one who carries the burden of the cross so that we will be released from all crushing burdens.

Nail into the feet

The feet of Jesus was nailed to the cross, so that we would be released to walk in the will of God. Walking in the will of God is the greatest freedom there is. Enoch, we were told, walked with God and was not (entered permanently to the realm of the spirit) because God took him (Genesis 5:24).

The goal of walking with God is so that he will take you over, run you fully. God told Abraham: walk before me and be perfect (Genesis 17:1), that means he should pay adequate attention to pleasing God in all things, not holding back (Colossians 1:10).

And that was tested when he was called to sacrifice his beloved Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). That was the symbol of his identity as the one who will be the father of many nations, which was the word of God to him. He was told to sacrifice his hope, Isaac, sacrifice the word of God to him to embrace the God of the word.

He had to choose between God’s promise (blessing) and God, and he chose God, he chose obedience. His three days walk to mount Moriah where the sacrifice was to be made was a symbol of Jesus own stay in the belly of the earth for three days and night (between his burial and resurrection), in his own walk of obedience in the will of God (Philippians 2:5-11), through which we are also free to walk in all the will of God. At the end of it for both of them Abraham and Jesus, attained levels with God they would not have otherwise attained part from the difficult walk of obedience to God.

Nail to the hand

The hands of Jesus were nailed to the cross so that we can be released to serve (worship) God. While the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt, Moses was sent to Pharaoh by God on their behalf saying: let my people go that they may serve, worship me in the wilderness (Exodus 4:23). The whole point of release is both about your relationship with God and you serving him. Your spiritual release is tied to your spiritual service. You are set free to serve others, set them free. You are helped to help others.

Your hands are also symbols of worship, as you raise your hand to acknowledge God as supreme singing songs to him, in understanding or in tongues (lifting him up symbolically). It is also used in prayer. Paul said that he wants hands raised in prayer, as people connect with God (1Timothy 2:8).

Prayer shows that you have been released, you have been set free from sin to communicate with God, a holy God. Remember that when Adam and Eve sinned they were no longer keen on speaking with God (Genesis 3). Now sin is taken from the way because of Jesus, and the more you pray the greater the release you have experienced.

That is why the baptism of the Holy Spirit which leads us into deeper levels of prayer as we speak with new tongues is important (1Corrinthians 14:2, 4). It is through that means that we speak mysteries to God in the spirit.

Stripes to the back

Jesus’ back was marked with stripes on the way to the cross and by his stripes we were healed (Genesis 53:5, 1Peter 2:24). It is in our identification with Jesus that we are set free from pain. There are nerves going from the backbone to every part of the body. So while the stripes communicates pain to Jesus, it communicates healing to all our flesh, freeing us from pain. And the feeling of pain also gets to the spinal cord in the backbone from the nerves across the body.

Jesus came to the earth and you cannot help but notice how he dominated over sickness. It does not matter the ill, he cures it. And he sent us on the ministry of healing saying those who believe in him will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover (Mark 16:17-18). Matthew wrote about Jesus that he carries away our diseases and sicknesses (Matthew 8:17), and still actively doing that. If he carries it them we do not have to carry it again. We are released to be all we can be in the physical sense in God, nothing diminished.

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