“Give us Barabbas”

Power is an aphrodisiac and a strong driving force to man. The need for power even supersedes the need for wealth. The need for power is exactly why the council brought Jesus before Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman Governor of Judea under Emperor Tiberius Caesar [1]. Jesus was teaching salvation through grace and not of works and many people began to follow Him [2]. The chief priests and elders of Israel were losing their power and religious hold that they had on the people.

The Bible tells us that Pilate interrogated Jesus and ultimately found no fault in Him and thus intimated this to the assemblage and that he would release Jesus forthwith [3]. There was an immediate outcry, “Crucify Him [4]!” Therefore, Pilate proclaimed that he was innocent of Jesus’s Blood and publicly, washed his hands of the matter [5]. He reminded the crowd that it was their custom to release one prisoner at the Passover Feast [6] and brought Barabbas to the crowd so they could choose who he should set free.

Barabbas was an insurrectionist and murderer [7], and Jesus was life, life to those who would follow Him [8]. So Pilate, not finding any fault in Him worthy of death, asked them, “Who should he release?” They all answered in unison, “Barabbas, give us Barabbas [9].”

The story of Barabbas does not stop there but continues even unto today. You might ask, “How is that so?” Every time we sin, we call out, “Give us Barabbas,” and we put Jesus back up on the Cross.

v6 . . .and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace [Hebrews 6:6 NIV]

Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above. . .” so says the lyrics to the song. God preordained His plan before the foundation of the world [10]. Do we actually believe that the Bible contains any coincidences?

For those of you who do not know, the name “Barabbas” is a Hellenization [11] of the Aramaic “Bar abba” or literally, “son of a father.” Therefore the context of the original text is that the name Barabbas, or son of a father, spoke to each and every one of us. Whereas every son and daughter of the Father was set free from the curse of sin by the death, burial, and resurrection [12] of our savior, Jesus Christ, and the murdering insurrectionist who deserved to die, went free and the innocent, free from sin, Lamb of God sacrificed Himself in our stead.

Like Barabbas, we deserve to die but hallelujah, we have an advocate before the Father [13], Jesus Christ, who pleads our case and is the propitiation [14] for not only our sins, but for the sins of the whole world [15].

This knowledge should change our outlook on sin, big time. So the next time we sin, seek out immediate repentance [16] or we put Jesus back up on the Cross and once again hold Him to public shame [17].

[1] Luke 23:1-25
[2] Ephesians 2:8, 9
[3] John 18:38
[4] Luke 23:21
[5] Matthew 27:24
[6] John 18:39
[7] Mark 15:7
[8] John 14:6
[9] Matthew 27: 20-23; Mark 15:12-15; Luke 23: 14-18; John 18:38-40
[10] Romans 8: 28-30
[11] Hellenization is the spread of ancient Greek culture and, to a lesser extent, language, over foreign peoples conquered by the Greeks during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC.
[12] 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
[13] 1 John 2:1
[14] Atonement
[15] 1 John 2:2
[16] True repentance is not repenting for fear of the consequences of the sin, but for the need to get back into the presence and grace of God. Anything short of this is not true repentance.
[17] Hebrews 6:6

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