They Chose Barabbas

“But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us! (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!'” Luke 23: 18-21
The condemned and convicted murderer sat on the dirt floor of the filthy Roman cell, running his fingers through his hair as he imagined how excruciatingly painful his upcoming crucifixion would be. He is no stranger to this brutal manner of punishment. The roads in Israel were often linked with the hellish nightmare of Roman justice.
The murderer, named Barabbas, dreads the next few hours. Fear and anxiety chill that blood running through his veins. He knows he is guilty and deserves the punishment, but he is overwhelmed with fear. Suddenly, two Roman soldiers burst into his cell. Saying nothing, they dragged his unwilling, shackled body out of prison and pulled him toward the daylight.
The light outside is bright after being in the dark for so long. Barabbas squinted his tired eyes, and his mind raced to catch up with what was happening. The crowd is so large, and their shouting rattles and shakes the buildings around him. Another man is standing to his right. The man looks familiar; he seems like the man from Nazareth they call Jesus.
The name Barabbas in Aramaic means “son of the father.” So the son of the father and the Son of the Father stand side by side; one guilty, one innocent. Barabbas is prepared to face the consequences of his crimes, but the crowd begins to yell his name with excitement and vigor. They are asking for him to be set free, and they want the man called Jesus to be crucified.
Barabbas looks around and is still confused as the iron shackles fall from his hands and feet as he is set free. He looked at Jesus one last time; Jesus the innocent One, the Perfect One. In his bewilderment, he sees only compassion in Jesus’ eyes. Barabbas lifts his unchained hands and knows he is free. He will live and not die because Jesus took his place.
We are all Barabbas. We are all guilty and deserve the punishment for our sins. But because of the gracious act of Jesus, the true Son of the Father, we face the judgment seat and are found innocent. The shackles of sin are broken, and we are set free.
Thank you, Jesus, for the cross!
Blessings as you meditate on God’s amazing grace,
Susie and the Help Club for Moms Team
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Susie O'Neal
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