Acts 3:14 "But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you…”
I can never grow numb to the crucifixion story of Jesus. Every time I read the story, or watch the movie, or a hear a sermon about how our sweet innocent Jesus was beaten and crucified on the cross, my heart aches and the tears flow. It’s like I can almost see myself right there in front of Him. And in a way, I was. We all were there… by way of a man named Barabbas.
As Jesus made His way to the cross, there was moment that perfectly reflected the love of our Heavenly Father for all His people. Pilate stood before the Jews, as customary on a Holy Day, presenting Jesus and a man named Barabbas before the people, to choose who would be released from Death Row. Barabbas, a known murderer and rebel stood next to Jesus Christ, who was blameless. “Who do you want released?” Pilate asked. Hoping that the Jews would release Jesus. But with hardened hearts and enraged eyes, they shouted “Release Barabbas and crucify Jesus.” Jesus stood quiet before the Jews, knowing that He had to go to the cross, in order to save the very people that wanted Him dead. Jesus knew that setting a murderer free while He died on the cross, was the only way that He could save us all. He knew that Barabbas wasn’t just Barabbas. He knew that Barabbas was mankind.
Jesus sacrificed His life so that you and I could be set free. Despite all of our guilt, sin, and shame, Jesus endured being beaten, mocked, pierced, and nailed to a cross so that we could have everlasting life. There is no record of Barabbas ever changing his ways. Barabbas never stopped and said “Thank you, Jesus”. Jesus knew that he wouldn’t, yet suffered and died anyway. That’s where I want to change the narrative. Like Barabbas, I know there had to be an exchange for my freedom. Jesus on the cross for the bondage of my sin. But I choose to not let Jesus die in vain. I choose to continually to tell the Lord “Thank You” and choose to turn from my sinful ways. The thing I realized, that it seems Barabbas didn’t, is just because I was freed that first time, doesn’t mean that my time with death won’t come back around. Jesus’ death on the cross gave me the opportunity to also defeat death. Either I refuse the freedom in Christ and eventually pay the debt to the death that I owe, or I can stand together with Christ and allow his victory over death to be the reason my death puts me face to face with him for all eternity.
What will you do with your freedom? Christ died on the cross just for you! You may have accepted Christ as your Savior, but your Barabbas comes in different forms. Perhaps you have the opportunity to choose Jesus, or you can choose those murderous things that you know will kill you. Is your Barabbas a bad habit? Is your Barabbas an unhealthy relationship? Maybe your Barabbas is rebellion against your call? What will you choose today? Christ has already died on the cross for our sins, so there’s no need to try to send Him back. Allow the power of the cross to save you from your sin. No matter what you’ve done, Jesus loves you and wants to live with you in eternity. As we celebrate Easter and Jesus’ victory over death, choose to live in that same victory. His blood was shed so that you may live. Will you choose to allow Jesus to live within you, today?
Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross just for me. God when I deserved to die for my mess, Jesus stepped in and took my place. God help me to continue to choose Jesus so that death, rebellion and sin will have no power over me. Help me to see that Jesus only had to die once and that is enough to save me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By: Min. April Carter