Summary: It is impossible to study the Easter Story without studying Barabas. However, this interesting character deserves careful study on his own. He was all the Bible said he was and more, yet, he serves as a type of every sinner who is set free because Christ
BARABBAS’ BANEFUL BIOGRAPHY
I. THE BIOGRAPHY:
II. THE BIZARRNESS:
III. THE BLESSINGS:
Barabbas has to be the most fortunate prisoner in the world. He was scheduled to die and Christ took his place. Yet, this forlorn prisoner is a type of all of us who have been set free by Christ when He forgave us our sins. However, a close look at this common prisoner of years gone by reveals a very peculiar fugitive. He was all that Rome claimed him to be and probably more. Yet, he was set free. In studying the trial and death of Jesus one has to include the study of this very hard hearted man named: Barabbas.
One moment he was facing total extinction by the means of crucifixion and another moment he was set free. It is highly unlikely that he had a change of heart, politically speaking, it is hopeful he had a change of heart, spiritually speaking after he found out just Who it was that brought about his freedom.
The Bible is ripe with a few facts about this renegade and how he got into the situation in which he found himself. However, there is much we do not know about him. What we do know about him is contained in a few verses. He suddenly appears at the trial of Jesus and then upon being set free, he seems to have disappeared into the mist of the past.
It is my firm belief that the moment he found out about his release, he was in shock and utter disbelief. However, that did not stop him from enjoying his new found freedom. I have to wonder if he made it to the spot where Jesus was dying in his place and he thanked Him for what He was doing? I wonder if he ventured near Golgotha’s hill and stood watching Christ die in his place? I wonder if he ever tried to make contact with Jesus and tell Him thanks for what he was doing for him? Then, I wonder about my self. When was the last time I thanked Christ for dying for me? As I study Barabbas, I cannot but see myself in many reflections of this mysterious prisoner. If Barabbas never told Jesus thanks for dying for him-I want to re double my efforts and tell Jesus thanks for dying for me. Jesus could have walked away from that motley mod that day as His life hung in the balance between Himself and Barabbas, but He stayed chained and bound and knew that the crowd would chose a low life over Him-the Son of God. This was what had to be, yet He deserved more and He deserves more of my gratitude for His death for me.
In my sermon on Barabbas, I see three things here. I see his BIOGRAPHY, that which he wrote-not with words but with his actions. Next, I see the very BIZARRNESS of this whole episode. Then, I cannot but help to notice, the BLESSINGS this felon enjoyed all because of Jesus.
I. THE BIOGRAPHY: Just what was it that Barabbas wrote? I do not think he wrote things down with words, but someone did write something that has passed on into the Sacred text and into the annals of history. We must remember, all of us are composing our auto-biography for someone to read. We are writing page after page, every day of our life. We are busy telling a story about ourselves that is more potent than mere words. Our actions, our conversations, our deeds are all being read by someone, somewhere. It behooves us to write a godly auto-biography for all to read about our faith in God.
The first thing I see written in his life’s story is his Bitterness against Rome. He hated Rome and her occupation of his homeland. He was one of many Jews of his day who hated these foreigners. The Jewish people were proud people and wanted their freedom more than anything else. Almost to a citizen, the Jewish populace hated the Romans. They hated the taxes imposed on them by these dastardly Romans. They hated the arrogant soldiers who stood over them, humiliating them, and sometimes making them carry their heavy loads at their behest.
The Jewish populace hate the Roman restrictions on their ability to speak Hebrew in the open. The Jews hated the Romans because these foreigners restricted their worship and the ability to carry out the law of Moses regarding their own legal system. The Jewish populace hated the Romans because they, were powerless to throw the pagan Romans out of their land so they endured. They endured their situation; they endured their hatred; and, they prayed for deliverance.