There is more to the story of Easter…

THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY OF EASTER….
There’s an unnoticed part of the Easter story that I think is important. At every Passover festival the governor would free one prisoner that the crowd wanted. When Jesus went before Pilate, a man named Barabbas was also on trial. Barabbas was a well-known criminal who was in prison for rioting and murdering. This was no coincidence. It was a divine setup.

The name, Barabbas, is a combination of two words, Bar, which means “son of” and abba, which means “father.” But, “abba” also shows intimacy, similar to us saying, “daddy.” So, Barabbas was not just “the son of the father,” he was “the son of his dear father.” In fact, Jesus had just used the word “abba” in the Garden of Gethsemane when He cried out, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” (Mark 14:36)

The crowd of angry people shouted for Pilate to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. And that’s what Pilate did. Barabbas, the prisoner and murderer, was released AND Jesus Christ, the one who was innocent, was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Though it seems so wrong and unfair to us, Jesus was obeying the plan His Father had given Him. So, what’s the unnoticed part of Easter? Read this carefully………

HERE YOU HAVE BARABBAS, the “son of his dear father” that was a sinner, to the extent of rioting and murdering, and deemed guilty; who deserved to be crucified.
THEN YOU HAVE JESUS, the “Son of His dear Father“ that had never sinned, to the extent of loving everyone, and innocent; who did NOT deserve to be crucified.

So why did these two men end up in “each other’s shoes” so to speak??? LOVE. YES, LOVE. It was all about love. It was about His love for you and me. As Barabbas walked toward his freedom, Jesus walked toward his death. Barabbas didn’t deserve freedom, Jesus didn’t deserve death. But, Jesus chose death so you and I would never forget….. no matter how much we’ve sinned, no matter how much we deserved, we are always a “Son (or daughter) of our dear Father“ because of Jesus. He “wore our shoes“ so we wouldn’t have to wear His…. to the cross. And when we invited Him into our heart, He forgave our carnal life, as natural men and women, so we could embrace His spiritual life as children of God.

So, be thankful this Easter Weekend, that OUR FREEDOM, OUR NEW LIFE, didn’t come from an angry crowd shouting for our release. Our freedom and our new life, came because a passionate loving Father, and His obedient Son paid the ultimate price… for everyone who believes in Him.

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)

In Him,
Pastor Kevin Kinchen

Who gives YOU strength?

creative idea and leadership concept with 3d red light bulb

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13 NLT)

Married for 37 years today…

HAPPY 37th ANNIVERSARY, MARGIE KINCHEN! You are the best wife I’ve ever had!

What’s Our Secret For Marriage?

1. We have never had an argument; we just have lots of Intense Fellowship.
2. We have never gone to sleep mad at each other; however, we have gained a spot in The Guinness Book of Records for staying awake with no sleep for a week.
3. We have never had a physical altercation with each other; we saved that for disciplining our kids when they became teenagers.
4. And last, we have a “date night” every week; Margie usually goes shopping or to a movie. and I just watch Transformers on the TV in my office.

OK, that’s not our real Secret for Marriage. But, THIS IS how we’ve made it this far………

“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor GOD with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction, It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.” (Proverbs 3:5-12 MSG)

In Him,

Pastor Kevin Kinchen

Jesus inside you.

If you are a real Christian, that means you have asked Jesus to forgive you of all your sins, and you asked Him to come into your heart. In other words, you gave Him access to live inside of you. But, how can we relate to someone actually living INSIDE of us? If we can’t “see” Jesus IN us then we tend to think He’s somewhere else, or maybe He left us. It can be devastating if we think like that during a crisis. So, see if you can picture this….

The word “heart” can mean an actual heart or, thoughts and feelings, and the middle of something, the center of our being. Imagine a person who has a physical heart disease and must have a heart transplant to live. The entire body of this person, whether it’s healthy or not, is not able to survive without a new heart for the body. The damaged heart in this person, not only needs a new heart but it also needs the body to cooperate with the new heart. Everything needs to be on the same team, pulling together for the same goal. When the doctor finds a heart that’s a perfect match, with a great history, the transplant is performed with lifesaving accuracy. I’ve seen people working harder than most, yet no one knew they were working with someone else’s heart living inside them.

Before we had Jesus… we were that person with the damaged heart. Without God at the center of our being, us humans try to do everything OUR way, because WE think we know it all. You know, that “I don’t need God” attitude. When we finally come to our senses, we believe God is real and we see that our “heart” (the center of our being) is damaged. So, we decide to ask “Jesus” (the new heart via the Holy Spirit) into our life. PICTURE THIS! The recipient of the new heart no longer has to worry about their future, whether they live or not. They now have the Son of God “living” INSIDE of them. They have a new heart, a new heart that was chosen to be a perfect match, and a heart that has a spotless history. Jesus is now a part of them and they are a part of Him. The history of the damaged heart no longer exists. They now enjoy carrying the spotless history of the new heart… the heart of Jesus. The whole body now works together to serve the heart, to serve Jesus. The body seems to know that serving the heart by faith will result in blessings beyond measure.

I hope you can see the reality of Jesus living inside of us… because He does live in us through the Holy Spirit.

“When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20)

In Him,

Pastor Kevin Kinchen