(Somehow I skipped this passage, so I am going back to it)
Matthew 27:15–23 (ESV)
15Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16And
they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18For
he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered
much because of him today in a dream.” 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21The governor again
said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
This passage can often leave your head shaking in unbelief as the chief priests, elders, and the crowd choose to crucify Jesus over an actual criminal. Jesus is innocent, Barabbas is not.
Barabbas had been thrown into prison for insurrection in the city and for murder. Where is the decency of mankind to let a murdering troublemaker like Barabbas walk free? Where is the justice? We often are so troubled by this act that we
miss the beauty of this situation. This is the Gospel! Jesus who has done nothing wrong takes the punishment for someone who deserves to die. Barabbas is set free! This is exactly what the cross is all about! We see a beautiful
picture of God’s grace and forgiveness before the cross. I hope that Barabbas took advantage of this situation to realize what Christ had done for him. Wouldn’t it be great to talk to Barabbas in heaven and hear his story? Of
course, he will only be in heaven if he became a believer in Jesus Christ.
I pray: O Lord, it is so easy for us to miss your hand working in our life.
Help us to see your work in us and help us to take advantage of opportunities of sharing with others what Jesus has done for us. I repent and give thanks for your forgiveness. I, like Barabbas, am guilty, but have been set free. Amen.