I am Barabbas
Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. Matthew 26:26
This is one of the clearest scriptures about what Jesus came to do. He came to the world to save sinners and He did that by trading places with them. On the day Jesus was crucified, the people were offered a choice. They could let Jesus go or they could free the well-known criminal, Barabbas. Barabbas was a sinner for sure. He deserved the punishment he was scheduled to receive, but Jesus stepped in and took his place. It doesn’t look like Jesus had a choice, but He most certainly did. He could have prayed to His Father and God would have given Him more than twelve legions of angels to protect and rescue Him. (See Matthew 25:53) Jesus chose to pay Barabbas penalty for his crimes the same way He chose to pay the penalty for my crimes.
He did it for you too. I like to call it the great exchange. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that He became sin so I could become His righteousness. Jesus took my sin, your sin and the sin of the whole world and in exchange, He gave me a right relationship with God. He opened the door for me to enter into the presence of my Father in heaven by bridging the gap that was between us. Now that door is open for me to walk in and spend time with Him each day and walk out my life in His wisdom and direction. Jesus died to set me free from the bondage of sin and the prison of a sinful lifestyle.
Barabbas was free to go back to his life before prison the day Jesus took his place. It’s the same for you. The day Jesus died was the day He made provision for your life of freedom, you only need to invite Him into your life and enter the door He opened to have a right relationship with the God and Father that created and loves you!
Today I want to encourage you to consider the choice Jesus made to free you from the grip of sin. Recognize that He traded places with you and paid your penalty for being a person far from God. Thank Him for bridging that gap and opening the door for you to enter into salvation and press into you Father in heaven to walk out the blessed life He planned for you before the foundation of the world, before the world fell under the curse of sin.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 27:11-26
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”
12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”
14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.
16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”
18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”
22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”
25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.