Published November 9, 2010

Paul's Epistle...
"Have You Voted?"

Someone told me there was an election last week.

Well, yes, there certainly was (here in the States, anyway). But I was reminded of two other elections of considerably more significance, both involving the same "candidate" – Jesus Christ.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus was bound by His foes and hauled before Pilate, the Roman governor, accused of claiming to be the "King of the Jews." The Jewish religious leaders were outraged, accusing Jesus of blasphemy.

Pilate saw that he was in a very difficult political situation. He knew the religious leaders were powerful and he wanted to do nothing to jeopardize his secular rule. So he came up with a brilliant idea, falling back on a long-standing tradition. As Matthew tells us, "Now at the feast, the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?'" (Matt. 27:15-17).

So Pilate appeared before the boisterous multitudes and asked them to vote. Who would they choose to go free? Would they choose Jesus – someone in whom Pilate, himself, could find no "evil?" Or would they choose Barabbas, a "notorious prisoner," a murderer and seditionist?

The people "voted" for Barabbas. Barabbas won the election!

It looked as if Christ had "lost" that election – big time!   And losing this election meant losing His life!

But wait a minute. I'd say he actually won. The results of that election were part of God's plan. It meant Jesus would shed His precious blood on the cross. And, through His shed blood, each of us could be free of the penalties of our sins.

But that brings us to yet another election. And, in this one, you vote. And in this "election," not casting your "ballot" is just as significant as voting.

Each of us must decide whether or not we accept what Christ did on the cross for us. We can ask Him to forgive our sins and "elect" Him as Lord of our life. Or, by rejecting Him, or even by doing nothing at all, we can say "no, thank you" to the gift of salvation. Unlike any other, this "election" will have eternal consequences. And the results are very, very personal.

The polls will soon close. Have you voted yet?

- Paul

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