THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY OF EASTER….
There’s an unnoticed part of the Easter story that I think is important. At every Passover festival the governor would free one prisoner that the crowd wanted. When Jesus went before Pilate, a man named Barabbas was also on trial. Barabbas was a well-known criminal who was in prison for rioting and murdering. This was no coincidence. It was a divine setup.
The name, Barabbas, is a combination of two words, Bar, which means “son of” and abba, which means “father.” But, “abba” also shows intimacy, similar to us saying, “daddy.” So, Barabbas was not just “the son of the father,” he was “the son of his dear father.” In fact, Jesus had just used the word “abba” in the Garden of Gethsemane when He cried out, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” (Mark 14:36)
The crowd of angry people shouted for Pilate to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. And that’s what Pilate did. Barabbas, the prisoner and murderer, was released AND Jesus Christ, the one who was innocent, was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Though it seems so wrong and unfair to us, Jesus was obeying the plan His Father had given Him. So, what’s the unnoticed part of Easter? Read this carefully………
HERE YOU HAVE BARABBAS, the “son of his dear father” that was a sinner, to the extent of rioting and murdering, and deemed guilty; who deserved to be crucified.
THEN YOU HAVE JESUS, the “Son of His dear Father“ that had never sinned, to the extent of loving everyone, and innocent; who did NOT deserve to be crucified.
So why did these two men end up in “each other’s shoes” so to speak??? LOVE. YES, LOVE. It was all about love. It was about His love for you and me. As Barabbas walked toward his freedom, Jesus walked toward his death. Barabbas didn’t deserve freedom, Jesus didn’t deserve death. But, Jesus chose death so you and I would never forget….. no matter how much we’ve sinned, no matter how much we deserved, we are always a “Son (or daughter) of our dear Father“ because of Jesus. He “wore our shoes“ so we wouldn’t have to wear His…. to the cross. And when we invited Him into our heart, He forgave our carnal life, as natural men and women, so we could embrace His spiritual life as children of God.
So, be thankful this Easter Weekend, that OUR FREEDOM, OUR NEW LIFE, didn’t come from an angry crowd shouting for our release. Our freedom and our new life, came because a passionate loving Father, and His obedient Son paid the ultimate price… for everyone who believes in Him.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)
Pastor Kevin Kinchen