In this passage there are three people. First is Barabbas, (his name means ‘son of the father’). As a boy, did his mother ever dream her son would be a rebel and a murderer? In a society where Roman rule was absolute, he grew up to believe that change could be bought about through rioting, the sword, and blood; the progression from this is that he became a murderer. Do we have anything in common with Barabbas? He was a man who lived life the way he thought best for him, he also knew the wrongs he had done and was waiting for his execution day. Barabbas represents us; everyone on this planet is a Barabbas. We know the wrongs we have done, that we have lived our lives as a rebel against God, and according to Gods law, we deserve execution.
Next is Pilate; he was a Roman, an idol worshipper, and an efficient and ruthless bureaucrat. He declares Jesus innocent; however, he sits in a judgement seat, crumbling under self preservation, fear and pressure. His character failed him at this moment in history and he thought if he compared Jesus to Barabbas, the crowd would choose the murderer and the rebel.
Now there is Jesus; He is also Jesus Bar-Abbas, the Son of the Father. He is man, but also God as testified to by God, man, angels and the devil. There is no comparison between Jesus and man; however in this, we see the greatest love of all in action. Scripture clearly says that no-one took Jesus’ life from him. He gave it willingly; to pay for our treason, our rebellion, and our failures of character. Because of the greatest love ever, we are now able to come to the throne room of God and say ‘Abba Father’.
Written by Cath Croft