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Free at last!!

Recently in California, some of the politicians have made the decision to release inmates from Prison. This action has met with public outrage and fear because in general the public believes that these former inmates are a threat to the public welfare because of their past actions. In several cases, it would appear that the public opinion had been founded in truth because mane of the newly released prisoners have immediately re-offended !!! That is exactly the argument that our Lord presents us with in the story of Barabbas …. But it holds a deeper meaning than that for the Christian!

"16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.”

All of the Gospel records tell the story of Barabbas. Together, they indicate that he was a scoundrel who was involved in a recent insurrection and some of his activities therein included murder and robbery. The story should not be unfamiliar, but a brief synopsis is this: Jesus was being questioned by Pontus Pilate and Barabbas was a fellow prisoner. Pilate found that Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong, so he asked the Jews if they wanted him to release to them Jesus since it was the custom for the feast to release one prisoner. The crowd- encouraged by the Jewish religious leaders- was stirred to an irrational craze and shouted that they wanted Barabbas released instead of Jesus. 

    Barabbas was not a “good man”, he had many strikes against him and yet these people wanted him back into circulation! That makes no sense…not even on a good day! The reason the crowd was swayed in this direction is easy to understand… They were subjecting themselves to their religious leaders who held just about as much power in their lives as the Romans. They were acting out of the fear of man… and this brings a snare. But why am I telling you all of this? The reason is that, as with everything in the Word of God, there is a deeper, more symbolic meaning lying just under the surface of this situation. 

    The name Barabbas is of Aramaic Origin and it literally means “son of a master.” Jesus is the Son of God; He is the risen son of Man - He is in bondage to no one. As well, Paul indicates in Galatians 3:24 that the law was our “school-master” to bring us to Christ. Being under the law is being bound to a master that we are never able to satisfy. Barabbas was, in the natural a slave to sin because John 8:34, states that anyone who commits a sin is a slave of sin. But beyond that, he was metaphorically a slave to the law- a son of the master! The Jews choose, in this moment to have the son of the master, a slave to the law released to them, to walk among them, to sow more discord and fear in their hearts. They, in effect, choose to accept the law instead of the remedy for the law and this decision has blinded most of the nation of Israel since. For just after releasing Barabbas to the crowd, Pilate asked them what he should do with Jesus and they yelled “Crucify Him!” Pilate- in protest said that he would crucify Him but that he bore no guilt in this action- his hands were clean. Then at once, and with one accord, the Jews cried out that Jesus’ blood would be on their heads and on the heads of their children. This was all of the ammunition that the wicked one needed. They choose the law to walk among them and reaped the consequences thereof, murder, theft, and the destruction of their nation because they pridefully cursed themselves and gave the devil his own invitation into their nation. 

    This is outstanding because how many times in our life, when we are offered the payment for our sin- even after we are saved- do we turn it down and attempt to handle the murdering, thief that comes with our choice ourselves? We attempt to “take accountability for our actions” but we do it to the point that we think that we can somehow make up for them - we in effect manifest the curse- for if we accept the law as our path to salvation and we break even one part of it, we are guilty of breaking all of it! {James 2:10}. 

    When you are asked in your spirit, by a preacher, by God Himself through the word- Do you want Jesus to be set free in your life or do you want the murdering thief - choose Jesus every time!!

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