My oldest son James posted this picture online and I found myself pondering it.
Many think that Christmas, not Easter, is the most important holy day of the Christian year and many of them don’t know the story of Barabbas.
Easter, of course, is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but I always think of it as a time of rebirth and renewal. I don’t know if it is a coincidence that Easter comes in the springtime or if it is some Godly metaphor, but for me, Easter and spring shout renewal.
For us in the northern hemisphere of the planet the long winter is over, the snow is melting, and the birds are returning. There are flowers on the fruit trees, the fields are sprouting and tiny chicks are chirping. Chores on our small farm that waited all winter can now be done. Every year is much the same, but still glorious.
I often wish that for our nation there could be a similar renewal. In proverbs 29:18 we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” When the nation was young it was energetic and purposeful. As a nation we knew who we were. We were a free people in a free land, but more than that, we were a Christian people.
Today, so many have forgotten, or never learned, our heritage that we have lost our way. We are stuck in an endless winter. Many years ago C.S. Lewis said, “The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see; like…bringing a child back and back to the bit in its lesson that it wants to shirk.”
There is a Roman saying that has come down to us, “bread and circuses.” The Roman people, who had thrown out kings, established a senate and had the mightiest army and navy on the planet, had grown fat and lazy and now cared only for food and entertainment. So that is what Roman politicians gave them, cheap food and the mass entertainment of the coliseum.
At one time the Ten Commandments and Judeo-Christian principles were the foundation of our law and government. Now the government that we elect literally tears down the cross of Christ, displays of the commandments and ignores the principles the Founding Fathers embraced.
Perhaps we are shirking lessons, or perhaps we never learned them from our parents, but we, as a nation have lost our way. We need to return to the faith of our fathers and those simple principles that we know are true and stop voting for the government that gives us more bread and circuses.
If we don’t we are just part of the crowd shouting, “Barabbas.”