"Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, 'Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?' For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, 'Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.'
"Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, 'Which of the two do you want me to release for you?' And they said, 'Barabbas.' Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?' They all said, 'Let him be crucified!' And he said, 'Why, what evil has he done?' But they shouted all the more, 'Let him be crucified!'
"So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, 'I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.' And all the people answered, 'His blood be on us and on our children!' Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified."
~ The Gospel of Matthew, Chap 27 vs 15-26
Unless you are a student of the bible, you may not be aware of this story or it's implications. I stated it simply at the top - “We Are Barabbas.” Take that in. This man is described as a “Notorious Prisoner.” Notorious for what? Well for one thing, Mark 15 tells us that this man Barabbas committed murder in an uprising against the Roman government of Israel. And I say – "YOU are Barabbas?" How can that be?
Understand – there was a very important reason Jesus came and died for you and for me. Satisfaction of Justice had to occur in order for forgiveness to be dispensed.
Jesus paid the price for your freedom, dear Christian. He paid it for all, but it is only applied to those who repent and believe. "What did I do, to deserve to be called a Barabbas?" You might wonder. Well, under the spiritual application of the Jewish law of works, hatred is counted as murder (Matthew 5:21-22, 1 John 3:15), and even a lustful look at another is counted as adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). The standard by which you or I can be justified based on our own goodness is perfection, for God is perfect. By this standard, no person ever could be justified by works. Save one.
He never sinned. Never lied, never cheated. Never lusted, never hated. And because of this wonderful truth, He alone qualified to stand in your place...in my place...and be punished. Then he rose again, proving eternal life!
So I am a Barabbas, who has been set free from punishment because Jesus stepped in in my place. And so are you, if you turn from your wicked ways and place your trust in Christ Jesus. In spite of who we are, Father God, symbolized here by Pilate, can let us go free, because He held Jesus in our stead, to suffer and die for your sins and mine! And because Jesus paid your price, you and I can go free. I don't know about you, but I cannot but help Love Jesus deeply for this!
Let's live our day today, and every day, embracing this freedom provided by Jesus for Love's sake. May we read and learn about He who loved you so, and seek to live lives which glorify Him! May we learn to forgive, since we have been forgiven!
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