"Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, Or Jesus which is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:17)
Our Savior stands before an angry mob of people. They are loved of Him, and the very ones He has come to save from the punishment of their sin. Yet they hate Him, and want to see Him dead!
He is totally and completely innocent of any crime, or sin, yet they are guilty of many crimes, and of many sins. Nonetheless, they have the power to sway Pilate, and condemn Jesus to an horrible death.
Their enthusiasm for Jesus' blood has been incited by the religious community! The chief priests, and the religious elite have whipped them into a frenzy of hatred and disdain.
When given a choice of releasing a prisoner, they choose Barabbas, rather than Jesus.
1) Barabbas was a "notable prisoner". (Matthew 27:16)
2) Barabbas was called an insurrectionist and murderer. (Mark 15:7)
3) Barabbas was a thief. (John 18:40)
4) He was called a murderer. (Acts 3:14)
His name, 'Barabbas', means 'son of the father'. They chose 'a' "son of the father" over 'the' "Son of the Father!"
Barabbas was guilty, and condemned, yet he gets to go free because of Jesus.
Our Savior could have said, "Oh no you don't! I won't die in the place of a thieving murderer!" But He did not say that. Instead, He willingly died in place of Barabbas.
That is a love that I want to know more about.
That is a love that has been lavished upon me.
And I no more deserve that kind of love than Barabbas did!
From my heart to your heart.