Summary: This is an sermon to show a sinner 1) the need of salvation, but also 2) the necessity of accepting the pardon that Jesus offers.

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Text: Matthew 27:21-23 “The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.”

I. The Gambling Governor: Pontius Pilate

A. Pilate’s Predicament

i. The Conditions:

1. The Power Struggle: Jews incapable of putting men to death.

2. Seeking death by crucifixion

3. They have no grounds substantial grounds to bring to Pilate of Jesus’ guilt: “What accusation bring ye against this man?” “If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.”

ii. The Questioning

1. Description of Jesus’ condition as he stands before Pilate

2. “Art thou the King of the Jews?”

3. “Thou sayest”

4. The silence of Jesus before the accusations

5. Pilate marvels at His silence

6. His reaching to Pilate

iii. The Conclusion

1. “I find in him no fault at all.”

B. Pilate’s Plot

i. The Advocacy of Pilate

1. Pilate seeks to release Him. He cringes at the

ii. Pitting of Jesus against Barabbas

1. Pilate’s Choosing of Barabbas:

a. His Crimes:

i. Treason: Seeking to overthrow gov’t

ii. Murder:

b. Well known for his nature: ZEALOT

c. Pilate’s confidence

2. Jesus: the spotless Lamb of God

a. Pure and holy

b. Meek and lowly

iii. The Wavering of the Crowd

iv. The Influence of the Chief Priests and Elders

v. Pilate’s Impatient Cry, “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?”

C. Pilot’s Surprise

i. Judgment Rendered: They choose Barabbas

1. On verge of riot

2. Call on Jesus to be Crucified

ii. Pilate’s Relenting: Gives up Jesus

II. The Great Exchange

A. The Guilty Party: Jesus Barabbas (Yeshua Bar-Abba, “Son of a father”)

i. Represents the condition of the entire human race:

1. At rebellion against the Divine Majesty

2. Bound in fetters of the sin and the curse of the law

ii. Condition was hopeless before the appearance of Jesus

1. No idea of a ransom for his crimes

2. No hope of obtaining freedom again

3. No inkling of obtaining mercy

iii. The Chance of Escape

1. Comes without his efforts

2. Cannot come without someone else taking upon them his punishment

B. The Innocent Party: Jesus Christ (“Son of THE Father”)

i. His Release would be Barabbas’ Ruin

ii. His Ruin is Barabbas’ Redemption

iii. Jesus steps up to receive the sword of justice

C. The Exchange: outcry of the people was the trumpet sound announcing our redemption. Barabbas and Jesus change places

i. Upon Jesus is placed:

1. The murderer’s bonds

2. His guilt

3. His disgrace


ii. Upon Barabbas is placed:

1. Liberty

2. Innocence

3. Safety


Illustration: 6th Century Story of Korean Sons—elder brother Chief Judge, younger a renowned bandit. Bandit is eventually captured.

Chief Judge renders bandit guilty of death.

Day of Execution: Chief Judge switches places and dies.

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