The Barabbas in Me
There is a Barabbas in me, in all of us, I believe. And yet there is a Savior, even for us.
No one knows a whole lot about the historical Barabbas. He may have been a deranged mass murderer as some have portrayed him to be. More likely, he thought himself a hero, a revolutionary. Either way, it makes no difference. The potential for both resides in our nature and the Savior for both resides with Jesus Christ.
What we do know is that he was a murderer. We also know that he was going to die a cruel and barbaric death on a cross for his crimes. And yet, when all hope seemed lost, he is set free. His freedom wasn’t of his own merit, but because another took his place.
No doubt Barabbas was a brave man. He was willing to kill in a vain attempt to obtain freedom, yet Jesus died, allowed Himself to be killed, to obtain freedom for you.
Yes, there is a Barabbas in me. A murdering, thieving criminal, working constantly for the reward of a horrific death, laying up more and more crimes against my life. It should be me who dies. I am the one who did the wrong. Yet, as the chains are removed from my hands and my feet, I see the hands and feet of Jesus pierced with nails, nails that had been reserved for my hands, my feet. As I see Him led away, I am the one going free. I have been redeemed from death because Jesus has died when it should have been me.
What kind of justice is this that kills the One perfectly innocent Man and sets the guilty free? Only God.
I often wonder what happened to Barabbas after his release from impending doom. Did he have a revelation of what was done for him, of the love of Jesus for him? Did he become a “son of the Father,” as his name means? Or did he return to his life of violence? Likewise I wonder how many of us have allowed ourselves to be deeply and forever changed by the revelation of the exchange our Abba made so that we could be his sons. Or have we just kept walking past His outstretched arms to live a life of spiritual death.
Praise God! He still loves Barabbas! It was not the nails that held Him to the cross, but His infinite love for the Barabbas in me.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8