Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all.
"But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.
It took me a long time to realise that Barabbas [meaning ‘son of a father’] represented myself before I was saved; that Barabbas — not just a thief, but a robber — is a fundamental essential in the Gospel story. If the Jews had said, “We are not choosing Barabbas. He’s a criminal. Jesus will have to go free despite our reservations”, where would we be? God’s plan of redemption would have ground to a halt right there, surely? Well, no it wouldn’t, because God would have had a Plan B, but this is yet another example of how God’s ways are not our ways
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Barabbas is the son of a father — in other words, he is like you and me, and while we may not be robbers — a robber might use violence, or the threat of it, a thief does not — the capacity is in each one of us to be so, whether we like it or not. It is in our nature.
Jesus was — is — a man of peace, love and compassion, and so the choice before the assembly was someone like Jesus, or someone like us, that we know and comprehend. The wrong choice for sure, but an understandable and indeed forgivable one. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice, says Jesus. Pilate’s response of ‘what is truth?’ reveals a man of no conviction or philosophy, someone who can allow much for the sake of expediency and ‘getting the job done’. Jesus was now in his ‘out tray’ and a problem solved. Pilate passed the problem back to those who had the problem, allowing them to decide. In this way — by the condemning of Jesus to death on the cross — the sinner Barabbas was saved by grace.
Meditate On These Things
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
BARABBAS — Greenbrier
A HOLY PROMISE: Oswald Chambers on HOPE
GEORGE and GILL STEWART