ABC: Just for the Unjust

By Chris Baxter

The previous ABC post was Invade me and Involve me. The next letter and phrase is J:Just for the Unjust.

Just for the Unjust? Synopsis of John 18:33-40.

During Jesus’ questioning and trial before Pilate, a mocking crowd, spear-headed by the high ranking Jewish leaders, had gathered. These jealous leaders wanted Jesus to be put to death because He was gaining many followers into what they believed was heresy. Pilate was unsure of what to do because he found no guilt in this man (Jesus). He eventually spoke this option to the heated crowd, “You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. Barabbas was certainly not a just man; therefore, he could not have given his life for an unjust people.

Just for the Unjust! Synopsis of John 19.

But then there was Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords. No blemish, no flaw, no sin, no guilt. All love, all truth, all mercy, all God. The story unfolds: Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple robe around Him. And they repeatedly came up to Him and said, “Hail King of the Jews!” and were slapping His face…when the chief priests and the temple police saw Him they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” And soon afterwards, Jesus was nailed to a cross and put to death, becoming the One and only, Just for the unjust.

When I look at the above story, I ask myself:


Who am I like in this story?

Sadly, I can see myself in all the characters:

I am Pilate who sometimes gives into people pleasing.

I am one of the chief priests, pressing forward with my own selfish agenda.

I am one of the soldiers, mocking and striking and turning away.

I am Barabbas, a sinner who was released, with the God-Man dying in my place.

And with these thoughts, I then want to cry out, “Dear Jesus, thank You!"

You became poor that I might become rich!

You gave Your life a ransom for many!

You who knew no sin became sin!

By Your stripes I am healed!

(2 Cor. 8:9; Matt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:21; Is. 53:5).

Let's spend today filled up with humble gratitude.

For Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God… (I Peter 3:18).

Amen and amen.

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Daily Prayer

Peace Giver

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:13

Dear Lord,

Help us to not view praying as a waste of our precious time. On the contrary, may we humbly realize that prayer multiplies our time because when we lift our requests to you, you do things more powerfully and efficiently than we could ever do on our own. The extra blessing is that we gain peace in our hearts and minds. So today Lord, with thanksgiving, we will take time to pray...Amen.