Barabbas: son of the Father

Sit tight, this is a long one, but it’s worth the shot.

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The Story

The noise of the riot in the city receded as the soldiers dragged him across the city. His mind was tired but His mind resolute to gain freedom for the people of Jerusalem. Or at least avenge the death of his father. The Jews couldn’t understand that!

The company paused to refreshed along the way as he was being matched out of the city towards the gallows. One of the soldiers bent over him and placed a water skin near his mouth.

As he took a sip of the cold water, a hard slap against his temples jostled the water out of his mouth.

Oh! He opened his eyes and stared at hard concrete above. Instead of being refreshed by the water from the young soldier’s cistern, he was lying flat against his back in a prison cell, thirsty and famished.

He had been dreaming.

He motioned to rub the sweat from his forehead, but was restrained buy the big iron fetters that bound his muscular blood stained arms.

As he struggled in vain to wrench his hands from the chains, blood trickled from wounds reopened by abrasion. He didn’t mind the loss of blood. He didn’t mind the pain. He was already in pain, since the day his father died.

The stamp of the hilt of a spear stopped him. A guard had come near.

He stopped struggling but muttered some curse words to him.

“Awake, bro?” the guard tossed through the slit below the door, breakfast. It landed near his temples.

“That’s your food,” He smirked.

Click of chain showed that the guard had released the tightness of the chain, so he managed to sit up, as much as the length of the chain on both arms could allow him.

The smell of the food was as disgusting as its sight.  But he took a bite of the stale bread and watery mushroom soup… (to be continued)

 

Behind the Scenes

And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. – Mark 15:7

Barabbas [Bar-abba] – literary translates in Aramaic as “son of the father.

Barabbas.

We know him as the criminal chosen in preference to Jesus, at the instigation of the priests, for Pilate to release on customary pardon during the Jewish Passover Feast. He had been in prison for murder during a Jewish revolt against the Roman forces.

Other than that, the scriptures do not give more information about this man. But I’d like to spike your mind with my overactive imagination. Indulge me – it would be quick.

I’m going into Barabbas’ head!

What if Barabbas was a sweet little Jewish lad who grew up through the Roman oppression but unlike some of his peers, was psychologically pained because he watched a lousy Roman soldier kill his father and got away with it?

As he grew, the hurt festered by the daily injustice he had become too familiar with. It eventually became too much and led him to think he could get freedom for his people by agitating. But he had a second motive – to get even with his father’s murderer in the process.

So he either led or signed up to join a revolt and in the process, got an opportunity to murder the soldier, who had become a high ranking officer at that time.

Phenomenal story line, isn’t it?

Maybe we all are like Barabbas.

We have always voted for the energetic. The Israelites probably thought that Barabbas was more of a savior figure than Jesus – they were expecting an aggressive king or warrior to save and lead them to freedom from the Romans, and end their suffering. They might have felt Barabbas would try again.

Little did they know that the real problem was an internal bondage that no insurrection could cure. Jesus came to deal with the heart of the matter – which is the matter of the heart. He came not to palliate, but to heal and restore to brand new. His inside-out influence involves and transcends the physical.

It’s exciting though, to parallel Jesus and Barabbas.

Two prisoners (with similar names) exchanged position – while the innocent One was about to be crucified, the guilty one was about to be set free. One sought physical liberation, the other brought spiritual (and holistic) liberation. Having similar passions to save, one did so by rebelling and killing, the other, by dying.

My imagination is very wild! But you see it makes sense, and it means something to your life.

The Barabbas in you is hurt, sick and tired of the oppression going on around. You are tired of the weight of sin, as it reigns in present day – and in your heart – and you want to close the gap it has created, so you try to do all you can to get out of the rut –hard work, ambition, morality, religion, science – the list is endless. We love to agitate – race against race, class against class. Without struggle, there is no progress, we say.

But it doesn’t work because the mechanism of human oppression and death is much deeper than you can fathom. The price of freedom is too high you cannot pay it.

I was in Barabbas’ agitating shoes until I realized Jesus was exchanged for me. He died a substitutionary death for me. I relaxed and believed his sacrifice was enough to bring me freedom.

The blood-stained freedom became precious to me. Of course, he was buried in a borrowed tomb because he wasn’t going to stay there for too long. He brought me to Peace and the grace I received empowers me daily to live the kind of Life God desires – and why He sent Jesus at Easter – the one above sin and unto righteousness in this present world and joy beyond this life. Titus 2:11.

Now, I simply follow the Father’s lead as a son and disciple according to His good will. I live the guided adventure of learning, growing and shining in life.

Maybe Barabbas heard about one “begotten son of the Father,” the king of the Jews who was killed when he was released. Maybe he repented, we may never know.

But today, if you will quit struggling and come to Jesus, you will experience a 360-degree.

Consider the divine exchange today.

Come to Jesus.

References: Matthew 27:20-21, Mark 15:7-15, Luke 23:18-19, and John 18:40

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenom says:

    Thanks Josh for this insightful piece. Telling this familiar story from Barrabas’ point of view gives a fresh perspective.

  2. Ifeoluwa says:

    Great post. Wonderful message. God bless you Sir.

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