Who Is Barabbas? – The Sinners vs Jesus

Today, I will be talking about one of the misunderstood people in the Bible: Barabbas. In the Bible, we are virtually given no information about him except that he was part of a rebellion against the Romans and that he was a murderer, but doesn’t that describe humanity in general?

In this blog post, I want you all to ask yourself these questions: Am I going to be like Barabbas and choose to continue to rebel against God? or Am I going to choose Christ?

So, what does it mean to rebel against God? Well, the word rebellion comes from the Hebrew word carah, which means “rebellion”, “revolt”, and “turn away”. So, if rebellion is to turn away from something, why are we continuing to turn away from God and choosing to embrace sin? I feel that the reason we continue to embrace sin is because, we, as human beings born into sin, are naturally rebellious and will turn away from the person or people rebuking us.

In Mark 15:7-11, the Apostle Mark describes the scene of Pilate presenting Jesus and Barabbas to the people for one of them to be released; however, in this scene, it shows the true character of humanity’s defiance towards God and His Word.

Who Will You Choose?

Mark 15:7-11

7. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9. But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10. For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them.”

When we look at this passage of scripture, we see that the chief priests had handed Jesus over because of envy, but why? I feel that the same reason the chief priests handed Jesus over to the Romans because of envy is the same reason we, as people and Christians today, turn away and rebel against Jesus; it’s not because we are envious, but because we choose to follow after “Barabbas” since Proverbs 17:11 says, “11. An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.”

I like this verse because it shows us how we as human beings oftentimes seek out rebellion and because of that rebellion, suffering and pain are sent because of our rebellion. Throughout the Gospels, we see how the Jewish people and priests talk about God’s love for them, but what about Christ’s love for us. Are we so used to being wrapped up in sin and shame that we can’t see that through the sin we are in; Christ still loves us?

I recently read a blog post by WordPress blogger Tom of Pastor Unlikely called, “Sin is Pleasurable for a Season” and in the blog post; he said, “Sin can feel good for a time… It can feel right for a short time, but since it is sin there are always consequences.  Sin can taste sweet to our flesh for a season, but the Bible promises the wages of sin is death.”

I like this quote because it should show us, how when we sin; it may feel good momentarily but the consequences of us performing the sin are greater and more sever with our spiritual intimacy with God being separated. Also, in this blog post, there were several quotes that I feel we as Christians and as people should remember so that the next time we enter into sin.

  • “Sin often seems awesome for a time. It can be shiny, tasty, attractive and sweet like the sugar-water.  It tastes good initially to get us hooked.  It uses its power to try to get us to ignore the warning of the Spirit prompting us to flee for our lives.”
    • “Yet, no matter how good it tastes, sinful behavior is always filled with poison. It is a trap meant to kill us.”
    • “Sin is never placed in our path for our good. It is there to destroy us by the one who wants us dead.  He wants to steal from us, kill us and destroy us and destroy us.”
  • “We have a choice whether we want to keep on going past it or dive headlong into it.”
    • Once we taste the sin, it is hard to turn away….it is just so sweet. We often know it is filled with poison, but don’t want to turn away because it tastes so good.”
    • “Once we are in sin, completely hooked…”
      • “… We get sin on us and become so covered by it everyone around us is affected. We drag our sin into our homes, our jobs and add it to every part of our lives.  We feed it to our families.”
    • “The poison we allow in coats us to our very core. It becomes what we feed to our spouses and our children.  We lead the ones we love into the very same trap that is killing us.”
      • “Sin is enticing, Sin can taste good initially, Sin can be intoxicating but it always kills in the end. It is poison and that is what poison does.
  • “Sin kills. Sin kills families. Sin kills communities.  Just look at the ants.
  • Jesus died to give us that freedom. God always provides us a way to escape. We desperately need to understand the nature of what we are ingesting. It may seem sweet but it poison.”

Augusto Pinochet said, “Don’t forget that in the history of the world, there was a plebiscite, in which Christ and Barabbas were being judged, and the people chose Barabbas.

This leads me to how despite our sin, Christ still loves us as Romans 8:35 says, “35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Christ’s love for us shows when he decided to stay silent during the decision between Him and Barabbas to be set free and decided to take all of our sins on the cross; which is shown in a YouTube video entitled, “Jesus is Loving Barabbas” by Judah Smith.

In this video, Judah Smith gives us a very emotional and thorough understanding of how much Christ did for us and in the video, there are several quotes within the video that should shed light on Jesus Christ’s love during his crucifixion.

  • “He said, ‘It’s fine Father, let them have Barabbas”
    • For Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.
      • “I realize who Barabbas really is. That’s Me. That’s You. That’s Us.”
      • “For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    • “God sent His son for Barabbas even the one He knew would walk away from Jesus and His free gift and never come back.”
      • “He’s the One who stood silently on the platform with Pilate and said, ‘Yes! Let them have Barabbas”
    • “Jesus seems to look at me and say, ‘No Son. Let Me have it”
  • Give Me your sins, Son
  • “The greatest challenge is not your discipline. Your greatest challenge is believing the Gospel.”
    • “Go Son. Live your life. I’ll pay the price”
    • “If His blood is sufficient for your salvation. His blood is sufficient to sustain you through every challenge and every sin and every temptation.”

Judah Smith said, “Don’t cheapen Jesus’s sacrifice by trying to pay him back  

This theme of rebellion and sin should really give us as Christians and as people a better appreciation for the magnitude of what Christ has done for us on Calvary. He loves us unconditionally allowing us to be consumed by the fullness of who He is as said in Ephesians 3:19, “19. to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of Christ.”

The love of Christ is great that it is beyond our understanding and the fullness of God is the abundance of gifts that flows from God. This reminds me of a song by Christian group Sidewalk Prophets called “You Love Me Anyways” where in the song, it describes for us the true sacrifice of Jesus staying silent when Barabbas was released because Jesus knew God’s plan. In the song, the part that I really think shows us the love of Christ is in the bridge.

Bridge

“I am a thorn in Your crown

But You love me anyway

I am the sweat from Your brow

But You love me anyway

I am the nail in Your wrist

But You love me anyway

I am Judas’ kiss

But You love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd

For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground

Yes then I turned away with the smile on my face

With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace

And then alone in the night I still called out for You

So ashamed of my life, my life, my life”

Jean Cocteau said, “If it has to choose who is to be crucified, the crowd will always save Barabbas.

In the end, though; we, as human beings born into a world of sin, are always going to choose Barabbas over Jesus because of our fallen natures. However, we know as Christians and as people that despite us choosing the “Barabbas way” of life where we are rebels and murderers which will lead us farther away from Christ, we can choose to side with Christ and begin to live a life worthy of Him and the sacrifice He made for us 2,000 years ago.

As we get towards Christmas, I want you all to remember the reason why Jesus came to Earth; it was to save us from sin and He did it because He loved us enough to take our place on the cross.

So, what are you going to do”

Will you continue to adopt this idea of rebellion and choose “Barabbas”?

Or, Will you come to Christ and adopt His characters to be shown on Earth?

I would like to hear what you think.

 

God’s Blessings,

Joshua Reid

 

References

Cocteau, Jean. “If it has to choose who is to be crucified, the crowd will always save Barabbas.”, http://www.azquotes.com/quote/59485 . Accessed 30 Nov 2017.

Pinochet, Augusto. “Don’t forget that in the history of the world, there was a plebiscite, in which Christ and Barabbas were being judged, and the people chose Barabbas.”, http://www.azquotes.com/quote/683140 . Accessed 29 Nov 2017.

Sidewalk Prophets. “You Love Me Anyways”, YouTube, uploaded by Monica Joriel Mojica, 6 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_hlBVycwpQ . Accessed 28 Nov 2017.

Smith, Judah. “Don’t cheapen Jesus’s sacrifice by trying to pay him back”, http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1177611 . Accessed 30 Nov 2017.

Smith, Judah. “Jesus is Loving Barabbas”, YouTube, uploaded by Newsong Church Hawaii, 4 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwX_EpNR4CA . Accessed 29 Nov 2017.

Tom. “Sin is Pleasurable for a Season”, 1 week ago, pastorunlikely.com, https://pastorunlikely.com/2017/11/21/sin-is-pleasurable-for-a-season/ . Accessed 30 Nov 2017.

 

Picture References

Author Unknown. “JESUS OR BARABBAS – WHICH “SON OF THE FATHER” ARE WE FOLLOWING?”, https://onelordonebody.com/2013/08/10/jesus-or-barabbas-which-son-of-the-father-are-we-following/ . Accessed 30 Nov 2017.

Author Unknown. “Who is Barabbas?”, 18 Apr 2014, http://www.breadforbeggars.com/who-is-barabbas/ . Accessed 29 Nov 2017.

Author Unknown. “What Jesus Said About Homosexuality”, 4 Oct 2016, http://wideawakechristian.blogspot.com/2016/10/what-jesus-said-about-homosexuality.html . Accessed 1 Dec 2017.

Author Unknown. “Romans 8:35 Inspirational Image”, https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Romans-8-35_Inspirational_Image/ . Accessed 1 Dec 2017.

Author Unknown. “We Are Barabbas“, https://i.pinimg.com/736x/f6/eb/84/f6eb843940e25693fdbcbdbeb56cfc47–we-quotes.jpg.

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17 thoughts on “Who Is Barabbas? – The Sinners vs Jesus

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Bond Servant. I agree I will choose Jesus over the “Barabbas” in our lives. However, there are still people (even Christians) who choose to stay with the “Barabbas” in their lives because it’s easier for them to be in sin then it is to accept Christ. It’s sad!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a very true statement that you stated: “I feel that the reason we continue to embrace sin is because, we, as human beings born into sin, are naturally rebellious and will turn away from the person or people rebuking us.”

    I likened a Christian’s life like a salmon which in breeding season it has to swim upstream to lay their eggs on the top. Living a life of holiness is constantly going upstream (against temptation) but the good news is that we have a God who stretches out His hands to pull us up again when we fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I liked your comment, SpaniardVIII. I especially liked when you said, “… Living a life of holiness is constantly going upstream (against temptation) but the good news is that we have a God who stretches out His hands to pull us up again when we fall.”

      You are absolutely correct. Living this life as a Christian requires us to go against the current (temptation) but even when we fall, there is God who waits with His arms open wide waiting to bring us to our feet when we fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Joshua – great post! The reality that I likely would have been chanting along with the crown crucify Him, crucify Him is as sobering as the good news of the Gospel. This quote really hit me.

    “Don’t forget that in the history of the world, there was a plebiscite, in which Christ and Barabbas were being judged, and the people chose Barabbas.“

    So true. Thanks for posting.
    Tom

    I will share this as well.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Tom. I really liked your post because it talks about sin and how we, as human beings are easily susceptible to it. Like you, I too feel that I would be in the crowd crying out for Jesus’s death. But we know that it was because of His death that we now can have an eternal relationship with the Most High.

      I am glad that the quote struck a chord with you.

      Like

  3. I will always come to Christ! Because I am NOTHING without him at all! Thank you Jesus, I know I fail him at times but he loves me endlessly and I’ll keep holding on until the end in Jesus Name! I love you Jesus! Thank you so much for this post! God bless and keep you! Xx 🙏😇💯😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In my heart of hearts I want to choose Christ, even if it means choosing him 100 times a day. And when that old part of me whispers “be Barabbas and rebel” I have to choose to remind myself of what Jesus did for me and who I now am. I choose Christ but I know there will sometimes be a battle and that’s when I really have to trust.

    Thanks for posting

    Like

    • I agree with you Evad and thank you for the comment. I really liked when you said, “And when that old part of me whispers “be Barabbas and rebel” I have to choose to remind myself of what Jesus did for me and who I now am. I choose Christ but I know there will sometimes be a battle and that’s when I really have to trust.” because that perfectly reflects the spiritual battle that we are constantly fighting.

      Christ even said that the spirit is willing but the FLESH is weak. Our battle between what our flesh wants and what God wants is ongoing and will stop we we are called home. I agree because I myself and constantly in a battle against the flesh even though there are forces behind it (Ephesians 6:12).

      Liked by 1 person

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