Jesus for Barabbas

One More...

Read Romans 5

I was listening to the book of Mark being read on my audioBible on my way to work and I was struck by the fact that the crowd demanded the release of a known murderer in place of Jesus Christ! In Mark 15, Pilate offers the crowd the option of either releasing Barabbas or the King of the Jews. The crowd requests Barabbas!
Then I read Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” In a very physical, literal way, Jesus took Barabbas’s place and died for him. What injustice!

Imagine for a moment that you are the leader of a new religious movement that promotes service, taking care of the outcast, and following the ways of God. You’ve been brought before a judge who does not consider you a criminal. The judge thinks that a trial by jury will be your best defense and that an even better defense will be a jury that has to choose between releasing you or a known felon. You are brought before the jury and the known felon is released and you are convicted! Worse yet, your punishment is equivalent to the punishment that would have been set for the criminal! Injustice!

Yet, here in Romans we learn that this injustice is actually a form of God’s mercy. God’s mercy shown to the guilty. We also find that the outcome of this trial is exactly what Jesus had hoped. This was all part of the plan? “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.”

The punishment for sin is death. Someone had to pay for the crime. Jesus, the innocent one, chose to take our punishment for us.

But why him, not me? Because Jesus could fulfill the second part of the plan, which was to move past paying for the crime to rising to something new and better. We are reconciled through his death, but we are saved and given new life through his resurrection!

Now that is crazy, amazing love!


Popular posts from this blog

Palm Sunday School Lesson for Teenagers

High School Sunday School Lesson on Dating, Marriage, and Sex

Youth Bible Study for opening of Evan Almighty: Genesis 6-8 - Noah and the Flood