“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.” John 18: 39 – 40
I decided to do some research on Barabbas and was reminded that Barabbas’ first name was likely Jesus too and his last name ‘Bar-abba-s’ actually means ‘son of the father’. So in effect we had two Jesus’, both son of the F(f)ather who stood before a crowd and both were candidates for crucifixion. It is argued that One was the Son of God, and the other was the son of the devil. Nevertheless, One was real, the other counterfeit and the Jews chose to save the counterfeit – Barabbas.
With regards to Jesus, the Son of God, it could be argued that the crowd chose the wrong guy for the right reason – or even that they chose the right guy for the wrong reason. Was the Jewish crowd filled with evil that they chose to crucify Jesus? But what if the crowd had chosen to crucify Barabbas, the apparently right decision – where would the human race be today? Would we have a Savior?
I don’t know the reason behind the crowd’s choice, I may never know. Despite the fact that Jesus could offer life and healing to these people, many of whom watched Jesus perform these miracles, they chose the counterfeit Jesus Barabbas – it just doesn’t make sense.
There will be times in our lives when we have to make a decision. Sometimes it may seem as though the choice is obvious because it seems spiritually right, holy and moral. However, God can use any situation to His or our advantage, regardless of whether it is right or not. For example, following their adulterous relationship, David and Bathesheba bore the wisest and wealthiest King ever lived, Solomon – who glorified God by building the temple of Jerusalem.
Sometimes, despite our prayers, our decision can be the wrong one, even though we believe we chose the spiritually right option, e.g. choosing to serve inside the church with other members rather than serving outside with drug addicts and prostitutes. But who may need the knowledge of God’s love more? Whatever decision the crowd made that day, whether it was wrong or right, ultimately, God’s will was fulfilled and because of that, today we are saved.
Some times we think things are black and white, right or wrong when they aren’t. Some times I pray fervently, hoping to make the spiritually right decision and instead I am stuck in analysis paralysis – doing nothing. I pray that you will help us all to move forward boldly with the decisions that we place before You. In that way, whether they are right or wrong, we will be investing our talents, trusting that You will bless the outcome and in whatever way You decide, Your will will be fulfilled and Your name will be glorified.
In Jesus’ Name