Summary: Presenting several ways in which Barabbas typifies every unbeliever. Compares how Christ died rather than Barabbas who was set free and how Christ died in our place to secure our salvation (freedom from sin’s penalty).
"And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion." Mark 15:7.
The name "Barabbas" means "son of a father", that is to say "a natural man". We are offspring of our father Adam by the flesh and therefore partakers of Adam’s sinful nature. Paul tells us: "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them."(I Corinthians 2:14). Only through the new birth experience can we become children of the heavenly Father.
I. BARABBAS WAS GUILTY AS CHARGED.
Barabbas had been tried by the Roman government and found guilty of treason and murder and had been sentenced to be put to death. John 18:40 further tells us that Barabbas was also a robber.
"The natural man" has been "weighed in the balances and found wanting" and the sentence has been given: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…and the wages of sin is death." Romans 3:23; 6:23.
"The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it." Isaiah 3:9.
II. BARABBAS WAS CONDEMNED BECAUSE OF HIS OWN SIN.
Barabbas was facing the penalty of death because of his insurrection against the Roman government and the murders he had committed.
The unbeliever faces eternal damnation and death because of his own sin…not the sin of Adam. Consider:
"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear." Isaiah 59:2.
"For Thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great." Psalm 25:11
III. BARABBAS WAS SET FREE BECAUSE JESUS DIED IN HIS PLACE.
"But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?’ So they cried out all the more, ’Crucify Him!’ So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified." Mark 15:11-15.
"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." "But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6; 8.