God’s Victory Over Evil in Us

This is a quote from my devotional by Theophilus Parsons (1797-1882)  who was a Harvard law professor.  It is important to note that for Lutherans, our choices do not affect our salvation, but they do advance our sanctification.

“Barabbas and Jesus cannot both live within us.  One must die.  Yes, every emotion of selfishness or worldliness in every soul plays the part of Barabbas.  Good influences may have prevailed for a time, and they, or perhaps motives of worldly regard, may have put Barabbas in prison, and under some restraint;  but the decisive, the fatal question remains, Shall he die?  Yes, he or Jesus.  Nor is it only on great occasions and in fearful crises that this question comes to us.  Every hour, every moment, when we resist what we must know to be the influence of our Lord, and casting that aside, give the victory, under whatever pretence or name, to that which is indeed our own Barabbas, we then do all that we are able to do to crucify our Lord afresh.  Every emotion which tempts us to refuse obedience to Him, “to make insurrection,”  to suppress and overcome whatever sense of right conscience gives –is not that the robber, rebel, murderer, Barabbas?  We may have, indeed, imprisoned him, we may have resolved that he should die–shall we now release him from restraint, and let him go free?  If we do, we know now what must happen–we know between what alternatives we choose.”