Do We Want Barabbas Instead of Christ?
Video from Free Christ
Christ said to love our enemies, we say to kill our enemies.
Do you see the problem here?
When Jesus came he sought to bring peace but the people wanted war instead.
Jesus weeped because he knew their hearts could not be changed (Luke 19:41-44).
Is he weeping for America today? No doubt!
While the people of that time cried out for war with palm branches and shouts of hosanna. Jesus cried in agony because he knew that they would eventually get their war. Forty years later, after Palm Sunday Jerusalem would be led to war by false messiahs into an great tribulation and the entire city would be destroyed.
"Barabbas is mentioned in all four gospels of the New Testament: Matthew 27:15–26; Mark 15:6–15; Luke 23:18–24; and John 18:40. His life intersects that of Christ at the trial of Jesus.
Jesus was standing before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who had already declared Jesus innocent of anything worthy of death (Luke 23:15). Pilate knew that Jesus was being railroaded and it was “out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him” (Mark 15:10), so he looked for a way to release Jesus and still keep the peace. Pilate offered the mob a choice: the release of Jesus or the release of Barabbas, a well-known criminal who had been imprisoned “for an insurrection in the city, and for murder” (Luke 23:19).
The release of a Jewish prisoner was customary before the feast of Passover (Mark 15:6). The Roman governor granted clemency to one criminal as an act of goodwill toward the Jews whom he governed. The choice Pilate set before them could not have been more clear-cut: a high-profile killer and rabble-rouser who was unquestionably guilty, or a teacher and miracle-worker who was demonstrably innocent. The crowd chose Barabbas to be released..." from the Article: Who Was Barabbas In the Bible?
You see Barabbas was a warrior, revolutionary, insurrectionist and a freedom fighter for the Jewish cause against the Roman terrorist occupation. Barabbas was a hero. By law he may have been a murderer, but to the Jews of the day, Barabbas was justified in killing Romans to protect God’s land from Rome. He didn’t kill fellow freedom-loving citizens, he was a terrorist killer.. and the crowd loved him. He represented their hopes for freedom and revenge over the Romans.
Even today in America we are still rejecting Jesus.
Many of us would like to believe Jesus would vote for our candidate and hold our political views while being passionate about our cause. We prefer to think Christ would excuse our outbursts, our hateful fowl language and justify our animosity toward others. We want to do our thing, pursue our opinions instead of doing the right thing.
Just as Lucifer desired to replace God and just as Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, we desire to be the center of our universe. As in the past, we want Jesus to be someone he’s not. We want Jesus to be with us as we storm the capital and kill and destroy.
Even though Jesus was rejected God redeemed his rejection.
Paul explained God’s redemption of Jesus’:
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:25-26).
Even though the crowd decided to save Barabbas instead of Jesus, Jesus chose to save the crowd instead of himself. In the most pivotal point in history Pilate, the religious leaders, the crowd, and humanity all rejected Jesus, but it was Jesus who ultimately died for Pilate, the religious leaders, the crowd, and humanity in general (1 John 2:2).
Jesus then “was assigned a grave with the wicked” (Isaiah 53:9) as he died in the place of Barabbas along side criminals (Romans 5:8; 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:3). He lived the life we could never live, paid a debt we could never afford, and was resurrected into the newness of a life we were powerless to do for ourselves.
And so we today in American, many but not all call for politicians to exact revenge, and they preach revenge, to kill and to usurp those whom we feel have wronged us and them.
We have in many ways become the murderous mobs that surrounded Jesus. We want to save ourselves by any means while we give God a nod hoping he will approve our self-righteous actions.
As Jesus stood before Pilate, he could have called down legions of angels but he did not. Christ did not argue, yell or scream. He willingly gave up himself to redeem all of us. His willingness to stand in for Barabbas showed us a better way to bring about change.
How does that relate to us today?
Instead of becoming the mob Christ calls us to seek a better way, will we?