Good Friday Service
Resurrection Sunday Service
Jesus or Barabbas?
"Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified."
(Mark 15:15, NIV)
All the gospel writers tell us of Barabbas. He was a bloodthirsty revolutionary, 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. So, 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. But 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.
We, too, face the same decision these Jews had to make between Barabbas and Jesus. Have you ever expected Him to act in a certain way, but He did not do things the way you thought they should be done? I want to tell you there is always another Jesus Barabbas waiting in the wings for us to follow. But that would be a mistake because Barabbas could deliver no one, not even himself. A god who is small enough for you to handle is not big enough to handle you. Choose Jesus. Trust in Jesus. He alone is mighty enough to save!