Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
Jesus went to the cross and Barabbas is set free. Both men were radical in contrasting ways, yet both shared some similarities. The name “Barabbas” would have also been understood to mean “son of the father.” Inserted back into the story, Pilate is asking the crowd what son of the father should be released.
The innocent man was sentenced to death while the guilty is set free. What happened to Barabbas is symbolic of what Jesus did for all men. The Son of the Father headed to the cross so that the guilty may go free. This moment doesn’t just set one man free; all men can experience freedom because of what Jesus did. The story of Passover should look exactly like this.
Everyone including the poorly-motivated Jewish leaders, the delusional crowd, the apathetic Roman leadership needed saving. Barabbas may have been in the best position. Receiving a lawful pardon by the government for known offenses, he firsthand experienced being saved by the radical love of Jesus Christ.
DO THIS TODAY: Pray for those you know need to experience the radical love of Jesus Christ.