Luke 23:17-21 “[Now he (Pilate) was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.] But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” (He was the one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”
How are you?
Oh, I suppose that was not a good question. How could any man condemned to death on a Roman cross be anything but crippled with fear? I wish your present hardships had never happened, but your past decisions have placed you in a very desperate situation. You must have known that participating in rebellions against the Roman government would be very dangerous. Yet you still attempted these treacherous actions and in the process got caught up in horrible terrorist crimes resulting in murder and more. I am sure at the time you thought you were being brave and courageous, fighting for what you believed in, but it is easy to get caught up in emotions and follow them to your fate.
Does the slow drip, drip of condensation puddling in your damp cell ever cause you to rethink your actions? Not that you could change your consequences now. Even if you were to beg and scream for mercy, there would be no respite. Justice must be done and your crimes paid for, and the Roman way is excruciating death on a rugged cross. I don’t envy your circumstances. Even the thought of all you will endure in beatings, mocking, and puncture wounds from the sturdy nails fastening your limbs to wood beams causes my legs to grow weak. But let’s face it – you deserve it! If you do the crime, then you must do the time!
But wait – what’s that? There is a commotion outside your prison walls. I can’t see everything that’s happening because the crowds are swarming the pavilion, but it seems they are very angry. There is another prisoner standing on the platform for sentencing. The people are accusing him of misleading the nation and calling himself the King of the Jews. He looks harmless enough – not a hardened criminal like you are – but the mobs sure don’t like him.
Oh Barabbas! This just might be your LUCKY DAY! The great Pilate wants to release this new prisoner, Jesus of Nazareth, but the crowds are swelling and screaming for his death. They have demanded that the frazzled ruler follow through on the Roman custom of releasing one prisoner during this Passover celebration. It is obvious that Pilate, believing him to be innocent, wants to release this Jesus of Nazareth, but the crowd is screaming YOUR name.
Despite all you have done and deserve, this other man is going to take your punishment.
Your cross is going to be His cross.
Your suffering His suffering!
Barabbas, do you understand? You are going to be set free!!
Dear one, this is all too good to be true. It is a chance of a lifetime. I hope this incredible mercy will change you. You are getting a second chance. Thank God for this unexpected gift of life in allowing this man Jesus to die for you.
This is not the end, and I will look forward to seeing you soon.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”