boisterous crowd that just hours
before had welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem
was now chanting “Crucify Him, Crucify
Him!” It was now “Away with Him”
instead of the Hallelujah chorus that
welcomed Him earlier.
one of His own followers, forsaken by
those closest to Him, they who had
been His bosom pals for three years,
Jesus stood before a mob agitated by
the Temple Gang accused by false
witnesses of a capital crime by Jewish
by his wife because of a dream she
had, Pilot succumbed to the demands of
the mob after the mockery of a trial.
He had symbolically washed his hands
of the Man, but the blood wouldn’t
wash off! He offered to release Jesus
as was his custom at this time of
year; one man could go free. They
could have Jesus or Barabbas, the
murdering insurrectionist. He was
guilty—of insurrection and murder!
his prison cell waiting for his
execution, we wonder what was going
through his mind. The clock was
ticking his life away, moment by
moment; crucifixion just hours ahead.
It was a terrible way to die! I am
sure the last thing he expected was a
pardon, but that’s what happened.
didn’t want Jesus to go to free;
instead they chose Barabbas.
murderer, the insurrectionist, was
free! The terrible crucifixion that
he was waiting for didn’t happen. Did
he know what a price was paid for his
freedom? We wonder. Jesus went to
the Place of the Skull and was nailed
to a cross in Barabbas’ stead. Did he
ever acknowledge that Jesus took his
place? Would it have mattered to
him? Again, we wonder. Should he not
show gratitude and honor the rest of
his life for the One who was
responsible for his pardon?
hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for his friends” (John
So far as we
know, he did not become a follower of
“The Way” even though the Author of it
saved his life. We feel appalled by
his callousness. Why wasn’t he
us to ourselves. You see, Barabbas
was not the only person Jesus stood in
for on that cross. Each one of
us–everyone!—had a “stand-in” that
day. Barabbas represented us. It was
we who should have died, because it
was for our sins that Jesus died, not
for His own; He had none. If we feel
condemnation for Barabbas who was
pardoned because Jesus took his place,
then we should realize that we are no
better than the murderer who was set
It was our
sins that drove the nails that impaled
Jesus to the cross. The
“handwriting of ordinances” (the list
of God’s broken law against us) was ripped
from our prison door and nailed to His
cross, but it was His Love that held
Him there. He could have called on
the armies of Heaven to rescue Him and
spill vengeance out on the
executioners, Pilot, accusing Jews and
the mocking crowd. But Love just
didn’t consider it. He was in it for
completion of our redemption.
“For when we were without strength, in
due time Christ died for the
ungodly…But God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans
5: 6, 8).
receive a pardon (like the murderer,
Barabbas) because of the Love from the
cross. He was still guilty though he
was set free. That’s what a pardon
does: it frees the guilty one. They
have a document that shows they are
free, but they are still guilty. It
doesn’t bring innocence; it just
removes the penalty. What Jesus did
for us is far greater than a pardon.
He took those damning records of our
sins and claimed them as His own.
When the nails that held Him to the
cross pierced the records, Jesus pled
guilty; it was He Who was guilty, not
that and declared us innocent! Not
guilty and pardoned, but He saw us
with no guilt, with only the innocence
of Jesus who took our sins and paid
the penalty. Since we have no guilt,
in God’s eyes we don’t deserve the
Overwhelming Love! Amazing Grace!
unlikely that we will ever be called
upon to die in the place of another,
but we may be given a Barabbas to
love. He may be guilty and
ungrateful, and we may have the
opportunity to love him like Jesus
does. We can show him the love that
Jesus gave us, and then he can accept
it or reject it.
shaped and fashioned by what we love”
We are being
shaped and fashioned like Jesus to the
degree that we love Him; by our
proximity to Him. The closer we are,
the more we love Him; the more we love
Him, the more like Him we become.
The Cross is
the greatest display of Love the world
has ever seen, and the empty tomb is
the symbol of the greatest power the
world will ever know. It’s the power
over life and death, and the key is in
our hand. It’s called “Faith.”
Faith unlocks the door to a
place...Place of Grace.
“For by grace
are ye saved, through faith; and that
not of yourselves; it is the gift of
God” (Ephesians 2:8).
what! It isn’t like the executive
washroom key where only a select few
of the elite have one; everyone has
dealt to every man the measure of
faith” (Romans 12:3).
is that some have neglected to use
their key and will not know the power
of the resurrection. Paul had some
insight into that truth and wanted to
delve deeper into it.
“That I may
know him, and the power of his
resurrection, and the fellowship of
his sufferings, being made conformable
unto his death” (Philippians 3:10).
May we be
like Paul—not satisfied with just
having the key in our pocket but use
it to unlock the riches of heaven made
possible by the Power of the
Resurrection, to know Him!
“I am the
way, the truth, and the LIFE [emphasis
mine],” said Jesus. (John 14:6).
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