Barabbas: a murderer, a “well-known prisoner,” a thug, and a robber. A man deserving of death, of a life in chains, and of crucifixion. A man set free of imprisonment by the will of God. A man who was unlocked from his chains so that Jesus Christ could take his place on the cross.
The one who should have been on the cross was set free. The innocent one was whipped, mocked, beaten, and hung on the cross to die. The one who should have been in that place was now free because of the love of Jesus Christ. We are Barabbas.
Barabbas is a symbol for all of us. We are the children of God and because of His scandalous love, we are able to walk freely. Because of the radical grace that my God gives to me, I am able to shake the chains of guilt and shame that the enemy tries to put on me. I am able to be delivered from sin because my Jesus has already won.
Easter is a time of victory for the believer. It is a season of realizing that our King has won the battle and recognizing that He continues to win the battle over darkness every single day. Because on that third day when Jesus rose, the enemy lost every bit of strength that he once possessed. The light of the world could not then and cannot now be contained.
Jesus went to Calvary to take our place. Our hearts were worth the pain that He endured. Barabbas was worth it. You and I are worth it. The story of Barabbas demonstrates the overwhelming love of Jesus Christ. God knew that Barabbas would walk away from the gift of salvation that Jesus’ death would bring, but His love was bigger.
This Easter, recognize the greatest love of all as yours. Romans 5:8 tells us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. While we were deserving of guilt, shackles, and shame, we were set free by Christ’s perfect love. We are Barabbas.