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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Crissone


We are all familiar with this Man in the Crucifixion story. But perhaps we give him no more than a thought. His name was Barabbas. Barabbas was chosen by the crowd over Jesus Christ to be released by Pontius Pilate in a customary pardon before the feast of the Passover.

As we well know, Jesus was a completely innocent Man. He had done no wrong.

Barabas on the other hand, was just the opposite. Scripture tells us that Barabbas was a robber, an insurrectionist, and a murderer.

If we are honest with ourselves, underneath we are a lot like Barabbas. No, most of us have never actually stolen anything, or rebelled against the restraints of authority or committed murder the same ways that Barabbas had, but we have committed all these things and more in so many little ways in our hearts.

We know that Jesus was hung on a cross between two thieves. But we also know there were three crosses. So was the third one reserved for Barabbas? Was he scheduled to die that day? Did Jesus take Barabbas’ place on Golgotha's Hill?

Barabbas was condemned. Whether it was that day or down the road, this murderer, rebel and thief was going to pay the cost of his actions. He was just waiting for his time, bearing the chains that held him firmly in his jail cell.

But then, unexpectedly, a man he had never met before took his place. Though his punishment was death, he was given an opportunity at redemption.

“You may go free, this man called Jesus will take your place.” a Roman Soldier likely said to him.

I don't imagine that he waited or argued or questioned why he was being freed. Barabbas ran. I believe he ran as far and as fast as he could to get away from certain death. Why wouldn't He? Wouldn't you?

We don’t know what happened after Barabbas was freed and if Jesus died on the cross that was meant for him that day, scripture doesn’t tell us. But through scripture, we do know how Jesus changed the lives of so many other sinners and slackers like Barabbas.

Perhaps Barabbas met such a conversion.

But, we do not truly know.

The point of this story is this:

You are Barabbas.

You are the one sentenced to death on the third cross on Gogltha’s hill. But the Roman Soldier says to you as well as Barabbas-

“You may go free, Jesus is taking your place.”

You can accept the gift of Salvation

No matter how many chains and burdens that you carry with you from your broken past, Jesus says you are free. And you can be forgiven and you can experience such redemption and freedom that was offered to Barabbas.

If you’ll only accept it.

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live

for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Corinthians 5:15

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