But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder; Luke 23:18-19.)
It was originally a choice Pilate gave to the Jews one fateful day in Jerusalem – who would they prefer – Jesus? Or Barabbas? But in some ways, it’s a choice placed before us still today. Even as followers of Christ, the temptation to “choose Barabbas” remains.
This is what I mean. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), the way, the truth, the life (John 14:6), and the resurrection (John 11:25). His is the path that leads to light and life. On the other hand, Barabbas was known for insurrection (aka, rebellion) and murder. His path leads to darkness and death.
Do I think many of us are seriously tempted with murder – no, not really. It’s that OTHER thing which Barabbas represented – rebellion – that’s a challenge for us. The original Greek language used a word that meant “a standing,” which on the surface doesn’t sound so bad. It’s good to take a stand once in a while, right? However as used of Barabbas, it described a selfish independence. Digging in one’s heals and doing things “my way” come heck or high water! It’s a refusal to surrender one’s will to a higher power.
And that’s the path that concerns me. For while I’d never seriously think of murdering another, I’m too frequently a traveler on Barabbas’ path of rebellion. Like most people, I love to have MY way. The idea of submitting my will to another is a hard sell. And there it is…whose example will we follow – the Son of God who submitted to the Father? Or Barabbas who submitted to nobody?
Which path are you on? Remember – one leads us closer to God – the other leads us further away. –Dave
(To receive these free daily devotions via email, sign up at: https://theteachableheart.com/classrooms-%26-devotions. For more information about the ministry, or to order the devotional books, visit: https://theteachableheart.com/books.)