Reposted from www.raystedman.org
Read the Scripture: Mark 15:1-20
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them (Mark 15:15a)All the gospel writers tell us of Barabbas. He was a bloodthirsty revolutionary, hardnosed and bloody-handed; he was a murderer. The interesting thing about him is his name, which means
son of the father.And in a most dramatic historic coincidence, according to some old manuscripts, there is some evidence that his name probably was Jesus Barabbas: Jesus, the son of the father. I do not see how we could read and understand that without knowing that this is again God silently guiding events behind the scene, bringing things to light that otherwise would never be known. For this crowd is confronted with choosing between Jesus, the son of the father, who rules by force and makes his living by his wits; and Jesus, the Son of the Father, who rules by love and is ready to sacrifice Himself.
Why did they choose Barabbas? The answer seems to be that they were disappointed with Jesus. This was the crowd that, just a few days before, had welcomed Him into Jerusalem. The city was filled with people Jesus had healed. The eyes of the blind had been opened, the deaf made to hear, and the lame to walk. He had awakened within the people the hope, the flaming desire, that this was indeed the Messiah, come to deliver them from the yoke of Rome. All their ideas of messiahship centered around the thought that He would be the one who would set them free from the hated bondage of Rome. Now, when they saw Him standing helpless before the Roman governor, saw His apparent unwillingness or inability to make any defense or to do anything against the Romans, all their loyalty to Him collapsed. In anger and disappointment, they turned and chose Jesus, the son of the father, who lived by force—Barabbas the murderer. Continue reading