Do You Know
by J. C. Corcoran
I just watched a movie on TV from 1962; Barabbas starring Anthony Quinn and it really started me to thinking and wondering about what Barabbas might have felt when he discovered that he was set free so that they could crucify Jesus Christ. The Gospel stories are all quiet about what might have occurred in this man’s life after he was freed, and the movie is fiction but all you need do is imagine it; and you can ask yourself the same question I did. Wow, what did he feel when he realized Jesus died for him?
Anthony Quinn was always one of my favorite actors back in those days but I never saw this particular movie until today, and I can’t get over the expression on his face when he realizes that he was free because of this man’s death. Yes, Barabbas was free because of the death of Jesus Christ.
And do you know that you can be free also, if you are not already. Yes, you can be free of sin; you can be free of the guilt of sin; you can be free from the penalty of sin (which is death), if you just accept the truth of the Gospel.
In the tenth chapter of Romans, verse 9, it says… “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” And again it says… “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 6&8).
I can still remember how I felt when I was faced with the truth of the Gospel. I was thirty-three years old and had never read a single page of the Bible. A rookie, I was training, got into our patrol car with a Bible and told me it was his law book as he set it on the seat between us. You might have thought it was a hot poker the way I flinched. And I told him to keep it to his self, I didn’t want to hear it.
I won’t go into a lot of detail but, suffice it to say, I was not living a clean life. As Paul says in the bible, I was probably the chief of sinners. But it didn’t take long (just a few days) and I made a slip. I asked the rookie, Jim’s his name, why he was always smiling. His answer was simple and straightforward. He said, “I’m happy because I know that I’m going to heaven when I die.”
I laughed and asked him how anybody could be so sure where they would go when they die. His answer came straight from John 3:16.. because “God so loves the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I scoffed and said, well I’m sure he don’t love me and I’m positive I don’t love anybody, so what are you saying? You saying I won’t go to heaven?
“No sir, I’m not saying any of that; the Bible is.”
Well that got my attention and, to make a long story short, I went to church about two weeks after that conversation. What I heard that Sunday morning made me want to go back, so I went back that evening; and again the following Sunday. And then, that Sunday evening, I was on duty and riding alone so I went to church. Oak Ridge wasn’t as big as it is now and it was a quiet evening. so I put my gun in the trunk of the car and went inside.
I don’t remember a lot of what the preacher said that time except that whatever it was, it caused a heap of guilt to flood over me and when he invited people to come up front after the service I started to leave my seat. But something held me back; I thought… no way am I going up there. I’ve seen people do that these past few times I’ve been here and they always start crying. I’m in uniform and I ain’t going up there and start crying.
Then he said, and I quote because it was his very words, “I feel like someone is holding back and I must tell you that Today is your day of salvation…” and I practically ran up that aisle. He had to be talking about me, right? I was certainly holding back.
And boy, I cried. In fact I bawled like a baby. People started laying hands on me and praying; the preacher was praying and I was spilling my guts; I knelt there and confessed to stuff that I thought I had forgotten. And I could actually feel the guilt falling off me. I was happier than I had ever been in my life. I finally quit crying and stood up and this older lady, Mrs. Salter, took my hands into hers and said, “Welcome home.”
That’s all she said and the flood started again. But now I know what I know. Jesus Christ died for me, and you, and you , and you because God so loves the world that He doesn’t want any of us to face His wrath.
What follows is a song the Lord just gave me while I was sitting on the porch enjoying a cold glass of iced tea. I hope it blesses you; I hope you understand what the song is saying.
Come To the Father by J. C. Corcoran
I love You my Father
And I know You love me
You sent Your Son, Jesus
To set me free.
And free I am Father,
To worship and praise;
To live without fear, Lord,
For the rest of my days.
So, I’ll tell my brothers,
Please listen to me;
Call on the Father
And He’ll set you free.
Oh come to the Father,
Let Him set you free.
Thanks for visiting. I pray that God will bless you today.