The name Barabbas means, “Father’s son” in Aramaic. It’s interesting to me that the crowd called for Pilate to release “Father’s son” instead of the Father’s Son.

I have read or watched that scene many times, and recently participated in a reenactment of it. Mostly I was struck with how awful it was that they called for a murderer over the Prince of Peace. Then again, he had led an attempted rebellion (Mark 15:7) – he was a hero of the people. But the recent miniseries “The Bible” showed me a new perspective: Barabbas’s.

He was a murderer, condemned to execution. He was on death row, knowing today was the day he would be lead off to die a most horrific death. What was he thinking of in his last hours? His family? Those who fought alongside him? Those who were too afraid to? His failed plans? Shattered dreams? Regrets? Was he sorrowful for what he’d done? Ashamed his revolt had failed? Angry at those who had captured him, or those who failed to join him? Expectant that others would rise up against Rome after he was gone? Did he remember the Passover custom? Was he hopeful he’d be the one released?

The time came. Soldiers led him from the cell and brought him before an angry crowd. Did he yet understand? Also before the crowd stood a man so badly beaten He hardly looked human. Did he know Who it was? Then he must have heard them shouting his name. Was he filled with pride that they wanted him? Or sorrow for this Man, condemned to die in his place? Did he understand the only innocent man was giving up His life, so Barabbas could go free? Did he later become a follower? Did he live for Jesus now that Jesus had died for him?

Whatever this did in Barabbas’s life, the questions are the same for us. I was a criminal, justly condemned to death for my crimes. Where do my thoughts turn? Regrets and failures? Shame and sorrow? Anger? Hope? But I go free because an innocent man took my place. He died for me. I’ll live for Him.

“Then [Pilate] released Barabbas to them. But after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.” – Matt 27:26

Then God released me. But after the sin of the world was poured out on Him, Jesus faced the full wrath of God in my place.

–From Ben’s Pen


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

%d bloggers like this: