Summary: This is part two in a five part sermon series leading up to Easter.
When I was working on this sermon series for the Easter season I was thinking on different people that are mentioned in the gospels that either somehow played a part or were an eyewitness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I sent an Email to Kim with all the different titles for the next five weeks. I usually send the titles before I have the sermons all prepared. This week in preparing for this message I realized that you can say everything there is to say in the Bible about Barabbas in one sentence. If you really stretch if out you can say about two sentences. That’s probably why you haven’t heard very many sermons about Barabbas.
I use to like watching the TV shows like law and order where at the end of the show the bad guy is caught and justice is served. There is just something within us that cries out against injustice. Many of us were just furious when we watched the O.J. Simpson trial and watched the Jury come back with a not guilty verdict.
Background of what was going in this passage of scripture.
Jesus has been arrested by the religious police he is brought before the high priest the scribes and the elders but the Jews had no power to put a man to death. They arrested Jesus for blasphemy, that he claimed to be God. But in Order to take Jesus to Pilate they charged him with treason, that He claimed to be king.
Pilate had no interest in dealing with Jesus. The only reason he dealt with this issue was because of the large mob of people that were shouting to crucify Jesus.
Then Pilate thought he had come up with a plan to make the people release Jesus. Pilates wife was warning Pilate to have nothing to do with Jesus she called him a righteous man.
Then Pilate remembers a man by the name of Barabbas that was being held in prison.
Matthew says that Barabbas was a notorious prisoner,
Mark says that he was a murderer Mark 15:7
John says that he was a robber in John 18:40
So you get the picture that Barabbas was an evil man who had committed much sin in his life
Now the prison was about 2000 feet away from where Jesus was being tried.
So all Barabbas can hear is the crowd, he cannot make out what Pilate is saying.
Pilate says which man do you want me to release. Barabbas or Jesus
The crowd shouts Barabbas”
Pilate says what shall I do with Jesus.
The crowd shouts “Crucify him!”
From what Barabbas can hear he thinks he is about to be crucified.
They come to open up the cell to get Barabbas and as they do they tell him to go he is now free
Free to GO? Yes someone else is dying today in your place.
Barabbas was a sinner
Whether we want to admit it or not Barabbas identifies everyone of us. The Bible says that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God in Romans 3:23
And Just like Barabbas we were sitting bound in prison with a death sentence placed upon us. Now we may have never done anything as bad as Barabbas, murder, or stealing but sin is sin in the eyes of God
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Barabbas deserved to be punished
Barabbas was a murder and a thief, he had already been convicted of those crimes and under the law he deserved to die.
Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The moment that Adam and Eve disobeyed God a death sentence was placed upon all of humanity one that Adam and Eve passed down to you and I.
Rom 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Barabbas desired to be released
Gal 3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.
Eph 4:8 Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."
We have heard a lot the last three years about different people being taken hostage in Iraq. This past week 3 members of the Christian peacemaker team, a group that is in Iraq protesting the war, were rescued by American and British forces after being held captive for four months.