On my way to work this past Monday morning, I was listening to BBN radio and Dr. Stephen Davey, Wisdom for the Heart was on and I only get to listen to about 5 mins of the sermon, because I live down the street from my office. Well, he spoke about Barabbas and how he was released and Jesus took his place on the cross.
If we remember from scriptures and it’s actually recorded in all 4 gospels that Barabbas was a known murderer and he was actually supposed to be executed for his crime. When Jesus was brought to Pontius Pilate, who was the governor and Judge at Jesus’ trial, he found no fault in Jesus and didn’t hold anything against him, even when Jesus declared himself to be the King of the Jews. He seemed to be confused as to why Jesus was brought before him, especially since Jesus didn’t do anything that would cause him to receive the death penalty.
In Matthew 27:19, Pilate’s wife told him to leave Jesus alone and to not have anything to do with Jesus. She called Jesus that innocent man and told her husband “for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him” Now, Pilate’s conscious was already bothering him, so hearing his wife tell him to let this issue that he was facing regarding Jesus alone, probably wasn’t helping matters; especially since he was the governor and the presiding Judge. I’m sure just like it is today; his Political Power was at stake, especially if he went against the people.
At the Passover, Pilate asked the crowd, which criminal should be free, Jesus or Barabbas? The Leaders actually convinced the crowd to cry out that Barabbas should be set free. Why? Barabbas wasn’t a threat to them, but Jesus was. In their eyes, Jesus was a man of great power that was rattling their cages and they didn’t like that. But what they didn’t realize was that they were playing right into God’s plan. Eventually, Pilate gave into the crowd and released Barabbas. He had washed his hands of the whole situation, after realizing that the crowd was acting up. See Peer Pressure was around, even back then.
Matthew 27:24 says “Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”
He pretty much was saying, “Do what you want to do, but Jesus death was on their hands and not his.”
However, although, he didn’t want the blood of Jesus on his hands, he ordered the crucifixion of Jesus and also the flogging (whipping). His guards mocked Jesus and humiliated him, cast lots on his garments.
Pilate himself wrote a title and put it on the cross, saying “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.” (John 19:19-20) It was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The chief priest, didn’t like that, but Pilate said “I have written what I have written” (John 19:22) In other words, he was telling them to deal with it.
Now, I never really gave much thought to Barabbas before, but the Lord brought something to my mind, as I was listening to the very brief sermon in the car; Barabbas represents mankind. Barabbas was like every other human being on this earth; he was born with a sinful nature. He was a murderer due to be executed. Romans 6:23 said “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Even though Pilate gave the command for Jesus’ execution, he didn’t order the life of Jesus’ to be taken away. Jesus willing gave his life for us, he willing traded places of Barabbas (mankind) to pay the penalty for sin.
He was willing to bear that old rugged cross that he dragged all the way to hill called Calvary, also known as Golgotha.
He willing accepted being hung on a tree, also known as the Cross.
He willing accepted having the nails pierced in his hands and feet.
He willing accepted the crown of thorns being crushed into his head.
He willing allowed the soldier pierced his side, as water and blood came streaming down his side.
He willing stayed on the cross just to save us, even when one of the criminals next to him mocked him, along with the crowd saying, if he be the Christ to come down and say yourself and us (the 2 thieves that was with him). (Luke 23:35-39)
John 10:18 says “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have the power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
All of the events that happened surrounding Jesus’ death on the cross was a part of God’s divine plan. Jesus willing died for the sins of all of mankind to pay our sin debt in full. His blood washed away our sins.
The only thing Jesus didn’t like was being spiritually separated from the Father. When he was in the garden of Gethsemane, he wanted to see if there was another way, if this cup could be passed from him, but he knew that wasn’t possible, which is why he said “yet not what I will, but what you will”. Although, his body was being killed, it seems like the actual pain was in that moment when he cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46) God cannot look upon sin, in that moment, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit turned away while God the Son took on the past, present, and future sins of all of mankind. Remember, Jesus was made sin for us who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor 5:21)
Our sin debt is now paid in full.
The ransom has been paid.
Mankind has been pardoned.
“I thank God for the Blood that made the difference at Calvary” Beautiful chorus sung by the Florida Mass Choir. Listen to the entire song on YouTube or downloaded on iTunes and listen to the lyrics as it speaks about how Jesus sacrifice made the difference for me and you on Calvary’s cross.
John 19:30 says “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
What was finished?
All the prophecies given in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah, as well as the prophecies regarding Jesus’ life, ministry, and death; more importantly, the redemption of mankind. God’s plan to reconcile man back to himself was completed.
Jesus sacrifice corrected Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, as the seed who crushed the serpent’s head. (Genesis 3:15)
Now, the free gift of salvation has been given and it is for the taken. So, you don’t have to earn your way to heaven, you don’t have to be good, you don’t have to say hail marys, etc.
John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosesoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus said this verse himself. He also said in the same chapter of John,
John 3:3 “Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.
Jesus gave his life for us, so what are you going to do for him. Are you going to stay dead in sin or are you going to be made alive in Jesus?
“Mercy that was great, and grace was free”
“Pardon that was multiplied to me”
“There burdened soul found liberty”
Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice on the Cross in my place and I thank you for your blood that washed away my sins.