We Are Barabbas

Apr 8, 2020

Originally written 11-8-2007. Reworked 4-8-2020

Have you ever re-read a passage and noticed something that had never occured to you before? That happened to me when I was reading Matthew 27. It's after Jesus had been arrested and was brought to Pilate. Pilate says he finds nothing wrong with what Jesus had done and gives the people the choice to free either Jesus or Barabbas. Of course, the people call for Barabbas to be set free and shout for Jesus to be crucified. 

If you saw the Passion of the Christ you probably remember Barabbas. He was a nasty looking crazy guy. According to Luke 23, he was guilty of rebelling against the government and murder. He was locked up paying his debt to society when Pilate put his freedom in the hands of the people. Why would people choose to set a murderer free over someone who had done no wrong? Their choice doesn’t make sense when you read it, but look at the amazing picture it paints of God's mercy.

Barabbas didn't deserve to be set free, but he was. He was serving his time for crimes he committed when out of nowhere Jesus took his place. Barabbas deserved the punishment he was sentenced to. We may not be guilty of the same sin as Barabbas, but we are guilty of sin. We deserve eternal separation from God, but the same crufixicion that set Barabbas free physically can set us free eternally. All Barabbas had to do to gain physical freedom was leave. All we have to do to gain eternal freedom is put our faith in Jesus. If you are unsure about this, I encourage you to read Romans 3:9-31. Just like Barabbas, our sin's put Jesus on the cross. Just like Barabbas, we can be a beneficiary of God's mercy through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. We don’t know if Barabbas put his faith in Jesus, but there is no doubt that Jesus died for him. We are Barabbas.