But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
The Jewish crowd a week ago was welcoming Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. Now they were condeming Jesus to death by crucifixion.
Pilate, knowing their Passover customs, asked them if they would like to set Jesus free. The crowd got angrier and insisted on freeing Barabbas, a condemned criminal instead.
He (Pilate) released the man (Barabbas) who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
Can you imagine that? The Jews freed a murderer and executed an innocent man. The contrast in character of these two men is so extreme, you’d think that they would make the right decision easily. I wonder how Barabbas felt, knowing that he was replaced on death row by a good man. Jesus took his place and was crucified on a cross between two thieves.
I’m not sure if Barabbas felt a certain relief of escaping death, or a thankfulness to Jesus. Maybe he was remorseful. We won’t ever know because the Bible is silent on that. How would you feel if you were Barabbas?
Do you know something? We are all like Barabbas.
We are all sinners, condemned to die. The Bible says that our sinful lives will lead us to die in hell for eternity. There is no escape, no hope. No amount of good works can save you.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But something wonderful took place 2000 years ago.
As Jesus took Barabbas’ place on the cross, Jesus took your place on the cross too. He died in your place (exchanged/substituted) so that you can live. He wants to give you eternal life. Jesus died on that cruel cross but on the third day, rose from the dead. He had conquered sin and death!
Do you believe that? That is the best news ever heard! God dying for wretched man like you and me. Why?
Brcause God loves you and wants you to be with him forever.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
All you need to do to receive eternal life is as simple as ABC.
Admit that you are a sinner and need forgiveness.
Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave to bring you to God.
Confess, through prayer, that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, and commit to live for Him the rest of your life.
Plese pray this prayer to accept Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that you died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God, so help me to quit disobeying You and to start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life, and make yourself real to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.