“He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder . . .” (Luke 23:25).
He turned his back on the judge and began walking out of court. As he walked past the guards, his pace grew faster and faster, then he broke into a run. As he ran, he thought to himself, “I have to get out of here fast! They let me go! I have to disappear before they change their minds!” I imagine that thoughts like those were running through Barrabas’ mind when the authorities set him free.
Barrabas was a terrorist and a murderer. He had been tried for murder, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Roman custom dictated that one guilty person of the Jews choosing, could be set free each year. When the judge asked the crowd which one they wanted set free, Jesus or Barrabas, they repeatedly shouted, “Give us Barrabas! Give us Barrabas!”
The judge was forced to let a guilty man go, and by doing so condemned an innocent one (Jesus). Barrabas was the guilty one, but Jesus took his place.
Like Barrabas, many of us stand condemned. The Word of God condemns us as do the Spirit of God, and our own minds that whisper disturbing things to us. Barrabas’ freedom was paid for by the suffering and death of Jesus. Like him, we can be set free because Christ died for us. He took our place. Has he set you free?
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org