John 18:38–40 (ESV)
My Kingdom is Not of this World (Part 2)
38 Pilate said to him, “What
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So
do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
The ESV uses the word “robber” for
Barabbas, but the Greek word can also be translated as revolutionary or insurrectionist. This might fit Mark’s Gospel account better which states in Mark 15:7, “7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection,
there was a man called Barabbas.” In regards to Barabbas, Luke writes in Acts Acts 3:14–15 “14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God
raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” The Lutheran Study Bible writes about today’s text: “Pilate tries to dismiss the case before him by accommodating a Jewish custom calling for the release of a prisoner at Passover—in
this instance, an insurrectionist called Barabbas. The story of Jesus’ Passion is filled with people refusing to accept responsibility for their own sins, a failure that afflicts us all. But God willed that the guilt of sin be laid on His innocent Son
so we might receive God’s forgiveness.”
O Lord, It is so easy to get mad at the Jews for their actions, but we learn that you are using them to carry out your plan of Salvation. Lord
I confess that I am no better than they are, for I am a sinner too. Let this be my inspiration to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins for all people. Amen.