Will We Choose Barabbas?

Towards a Christian Zionist Foreign Policy
by Philip Giraldi, February 14, 2013

 

Countries frequently define themselves by what they believe to be true. In the United States many believe that there exists a constitutionally mandated strict separation between religion and government. In practice, however, that separation has never really existed except insofar as Americans are free to practice whatever religion they choose or even none at all.
Christian Zionism is not a religion per se, but rather a set of beliefs based on interpretations of specific parts of the Bible [..] that has made the return of the Jews to the Holy Land a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ.
The belief that Israel is essential to the process has led to the fusion of Christianity with Zionism, hence the name of the movement. …


It [is] widely held that Israel should be protected above and beyond the normal American foreign policy interests in the Middle East region.
Through the creation of organizations like the two million strong Christians United for Israel (CUFI), headed by Pastor John Hagee, this focus on Israel has obtained a mechanism for uniting evangelicals and providing them with the means and direction to lobby congress to continue high levels of aid for Israel and also to resist any attempts to challenge support for Israeli policies…
Neoconservatives, who most often might best be described as non-religious, were quick to identify the advantages derived from linking their cause with the evangelicals.

 

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John Hagee: Our Commitment to Israel

We believe in the promise of Genesis 12:3 regarding the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. We believe that this is an eternal covenant between God and the seed of Abraham to which God is faithful.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “[a]Go forth from your country, And from your relatives, And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. (Genesis 12: New American Standard Bible)

Jesus before Pilate:
“My kingdom is not of this world”

28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium… Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” …
33 Pilate [..] summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” (John 18 – New American Standard Bible)

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Barabbas: The Political Messiah

New Living Translation (©2007): But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” Barabbas was a revolutionary.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009): They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.
International Standard Version (©2012): At this, they shouted out again, “Not this fellow, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Barabbas was likely a Zealot; a lestes or robber (if you were pro-Roman) or a revolutionary hero if you were a fellow messianic Jew. Like Jesus, Barabbas was also involved in an insurrection in Jerusalem and was caught and arrested as a rebel on charges of sedition. The Zealots were patriots for Judaea. They desired to rid their country of the Romans and the corrupt temple cultus whose high priests were pro-Roman collaborators and mere puppets of the state. (James Still)

Barabbas: Robber or Revolutionary?
Catholic Forum Answers

 

* The Romans often called revolutionaries “robbers” rather then what they were so that when the Emperor asked if there were any rebels in the province the governor could respond, nope just a bunch of muderors and robbers. I do not know about Barrabas, but the two thieves crucified with Jesus were actually zealots who sought the overthrow of the empire through political and violent means. Crucifixion was a punishment for political sorts of crimes, not robbers.
Barrabas the revolutionary has significance in that it shows the Jews desired a political revolutionary messiah, rather then the spiritual type that Christ is.

* Another thing to note is that although the gospel says this was a common practice, there is no mention of this type of prisoner release in any Jewish or Roman historic writings at all. So instead of it being a common practice, there is really no historic basis for believing it ever occured. Which of course leads one at least in the direction of this being a symbolic account written to teach more about who Jesus was and who was rejecting who.

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Will We Choose Barabbas?
By Jim Buchan, American Thinker, 9-9-2012

 

The message of Barabbas was clear: “You all could have a great life if it weren’t for the Romans. They’ve victimized and oppressed you, making it impossible to be happy and productive. Let me come to your aid and get rid of the ‘bad guys’ who’ve ripped you off and done you wrong.”
No doubt, there was a grain of truth in Barabbas’ case, just as there’s always an element of truth in the manipulative arguments of political demagogues today. However, the cure he promised didn’t address the more fundamental cause of people’s misery.

Barabbas1Standing next to Barabbas that day was a very different kind of revolutionary… Instead of promising political solutions — salvation from the outside — he told his followers they must repent and receive God’s kingdom on the inside.
Rather than allowing his disciples to pity themselves and feel like victims, he challenged them to take the “logs” out of their own eyes and deal with any sin or selfishness that was preventing them from receiving true freedom and abundance. …
You see, two different gospels were presented by these two men. Both claimed to offer “good news” to those who would follow their pathway. Barabbas promised a better life once the Romans were defeated, while Jesus promised new life in a spiritual kingdom that transcended politics and earthly kingdoms.

Today, America faces an eerily similar moment of decision. As in the days of Barabbas and Jesus, we face enormous economic and social challenges, causing many people to feel desperate for relief. If we are seduced by the promises of Barabbas, we will seek political saviors and opt for government solutions to our woes. We will listen to the alluring siren call of those who stoke the flames of victimhood and demonize opponents with a “divide and conquer” strategy.

No matter what your political persuasion might be, it’s time to repent of any tendency to cast our nation’s leaders in the role of our savior or source.
Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, I hope you can see they are certainly not Jesus!

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