Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified. Matthew 27:26 NIVI’m a seventh level, dyed-in-the-wool people watcher. Can’t help it. It’s especially hard for me to turn away from someone I catch only one intriguing glimpse of.
Like Barabbas, insurrectionist and murderer. Was he a criminal? Or, was he a Jewish patriot, an enemy only of Rome? Either way, he was a pretty rough man.
Barabbas knew he was guilty, and was waiting for his death. When soldiers dragged him from his cell and marched him off, surely he thought that moment had come. Surely he looked around in confusion as he was led straight to Pilate himself.
Was it possible? Did his breath catch in his throat, his heart pound? Could Barabbas himself be the one prisoner traditionally released to please the Passover crowd? All right! High five time!
But wait. Here’s Y’shua, the miracle worker. The people love him. Surely they’ll choose him.
But again they shout, “Give us Barabbas!” Three times Pilate offered them Y’shua. Three times they refused, “Give us Barabbas!”
Did Barabbas head for the hills? Or, did he stick around to watch? Did he even know it was God dying in his place?
Pilate never knew my name, never heard of me—but I stood beside Barabbas that day before the true Judge. I held my breath and strained to hear the verdict: Would He release me? Or, would He choose His own Son?
Avi, there are no words that will serve—for You have made a way, and we both live! The One who died to give me life lives again! And so we will be together for all Eternity. Thank You is too small, Avi, but I have no other words. Help me to live my thanks. In Your holy name, Amen.