Monday, April 05, 2010


In Sunday school last Sunday, we talked about the two final trials of Jesus, including Pilate standing before the crowd, offering to free Jesus or Barabbas.

Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.

"Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered.

"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!"
(Matthew 27:15-18, 21-22)

I have never before noticed the construction of Barabbas' name before. Bar (son of) Abba (Father). His name is "son of a father." One reference JtM quoted as he taught Sunday school said this is something like calling him John Doe.

Why have I never noticed that before? Barabbas. Son of a Father.

I puts a whole new spin on this scene. Jesus willing gives up his life, and as a result, a sinner -- a criminal -- a murderer -- was set free. He suffers the result of sin, and dies. Barabbas is any person -- you or me -- and he receives his freedom when Jesus steps up, and gives his life.

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