The spoken word in the video below has come up on my pandora station I listen to at work pretty frequently, I have probably heard it 100 times before today, always in the background of other things I was doing. I never really heard it, for whatever reason today it came on and I listened. It is moving. Much like this video that I have heard 100 times before and missed the meaning, the story of Barabbas and how it fits in to the economy of salvation eluded me. Shout out to Pastor Judah Smith of Hillsong church, awesome word.
I would encourage you to listen to the video, read the 4 gospel accounts of the story of Barabbas, read my commentary at the bottom, and comment so we can talk about and have further conversation.
24 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;[b] see to it yourselves.”25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[c] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them.9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[a] Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.
38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth? After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
Jesus is Loving Barabbas
This is a monumental point in the account of Jesus’
crucifixion. Two men were pitted against each other that day, Jesus
Christ the Lord, savior of mankind on one side, and Barabbas the murdering,
riotous, rebel on the other. (John 1:9-11
The true light, which gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made
through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own,
and his own peopledid not receive him.) Jesus was so hated by his own people that they
overlooked the treacherous absolute horrendous personhood of Barabbas,
to crucify Jesus. Barabbas with all his sin he had committed and continued to
commit did not even recognize the gift that was being afforded to him. Barabbas
was not grateful, he thought it was the people that set him free, but as Jesus’
own people didn’t recognize him as savior, neither did Barabbas realize that it
was His Love that set him free.
Pilate thought that he had all the power in this situation, no one in the crowd minus a few of His followers recognized that this is something that Jesus let happen to Him, that this was His ultimate desire, to endure this unimaginable punishment to afford everyone a way to reconciliation with Him.
We all can and should identify with Barabbas, it is easy for us to look at a person like Barabbas and judge him for his past sins, that he is a bad man. But we need to recognize that apart from God we are bad people, we should not be thinking: “Look how evil they are God, how can your gift extend to them” God came to die for all of us, Jesus wanted him to go free, just like he wants all of us to go free. Jesus was there for Barabbas even though he knew that he would walk away and never come back, Jesus loves him.
You will not overcome sin, you cannot look to yourself, your own merit, goodness, discipline, devotion will not be good enough for God and is insulting to what He did on the cross to think that you can work into his favor. His love is not deserved, it is nothing that you can earn, it is a gift given to you out of God’s unfailing love for you, IT IS GRACE (Isaiah 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.) This gift of salvation given to you is a gift, a gift that requires no recompense, one that you could never match, one that is eternal. You are called to be better then you, you are called to die to your flesh, you are called to be a new creation, to grow in spiritual maturity, to give yourself up, to relinquish more of yourself to the Holy Spirit so you can be more like Him. Recognize that (1 John 4:4 He who is in you is greater then He who is in the world) and that (1 John 4:6 we are from God).
God will take our shame, even if we repeat the same sins, he always wants us, he always wants to pay that penalty, he loves paying the penalty for the Barabbas in us. We are the Barabbas by not trusting in him, it is as if we are standing on that platform with Pilot and saying no as they start to unshackle you, “I deserve this” which you do, but Jesus gives us the free gift of the forgiveness of sins so we don’t have to pay that penalty. Jesus says let me have it.
“The greatest challenge is not your discipline, devotion, focus. Your greatest challenge is believing the gospel.”
“It is still Jesus, it will always be Jesus, It will never stop being the power of Jesus. If his blood is sufficient for your salvation, his blood is sufficient to sustain you through every challenge, every sin, and every temptation. JESUS IS ENOUGH”
This really gave me a new outlook on the love God has for us. To have that overwhelming feeling and being able to truly understand God wants us free from our sins. Thank you for Sharing!
Thanks for your comment, it was aces. One of the most important things we can learn is to recognize our short comings