Summary, Reflection, Prayer
Context: Matthew 27
Focus: Matthew 27:15-18
Jesus Barabbas: Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν- Jesus or Joshua, the name of the Messiah
“Bar”- “son” “Abba”- father- son of the father
“Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”
For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.”
Matthew 27: 15-18 NIV
Summary: During the time of Passover, Pilate placed before the crowd, two prisoners, one named Jesus Barabbas, and the other called Jesus the Messiah because it was customary to release whoever they chose in celebration of the feast.
The Priests and elders had already incited the crowd that was gathered to choose Barabbas, and so they shouted his name to be released, and to crucify Jesus, whom Pilate exonerated, and called their Messiah, their King.
Reflection: It seems Pilate had to make a distinction between the two men whose first names were both “Jesus”. So, he pointed them out as Jesus who is also called Barabbas, and Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Barabbas whose name means “son of a father” has the implications of not the Son of God, but rather “son of a father” – perhaps, the “Father of Lies”, to whom Jesus said the religious leaders belonged.
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The Jewish law was to not condemn a man without 2 or three witnesses and without a trial. No witnesses were found that could agree on anything Jesus did wrong. The only accusation against Jesus that brought about His death, was that He admitted to being – the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. So they lied, calling Him a criminal so He would be put to death:
“Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:63-64
What drove the religious leaders to break their own law of killing innocent life? Pure and simple it was jealousy and envy, the same found in Cain who killed Abel which God also forewarned. Genesis 4: 6-7
Before the Israelites were to enter the Promise land, they had a choice:
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your [d]descendants…..” Deuteronomy 30:19
Before the crowd was the choice of either life or death, and so they chose death not knowing they were choosing their destruction:
“When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but that instead, a riot was breaking out, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd.
“I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “You bear the responsibility.
All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!
So Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified.”
But it was God’s plan that Jesus bear everyone’s sin and for those who believe in Him, there is eternal life. John 3:16
So before us stands the choice of believing in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior – Life, or rejecting Him receiving the curse of eternal separation, punishment for our own sins – death. Ephesians 2: 8-9
“We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
My Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for my sins so I can have eternal life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit to choose to share this message of life to everyone who has the desire to hear your Truth. Your Word is Truth.
CR – Matthew 26:63-64, Luke 23: 41-43, Ephesians 2: 8-9,
John 8:44, Deuteronomy 30:19, Genesis 4: 6-7