MONDAY, APRIL 2
“But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.”
John 18:39-40 ESV
FREED BY THE TRUTH: GUILTY
Recently the Fox network gave its audience a look at O.J. Simpson’s infamous 2006 interview, during which he gave a chilling “hypothetical” account of how he would have murdered ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994—if he actually did it.
The interview was conducted by radio talk show host Judith Regan, who also co-authored Simpson’s tell-tale book If I Did It. Many were outraged because it convinced them that a murderer was allowed to walk free.
In John 18, Barabbas had been tried, found guilty and sentenced to death. John’s gospel says he was a robber. Mark’s gospel says he had committed murder in the rebellion. Barabbas was hardly the kind of person Pilate thought the Jews would desire to have loosed on their society. Yet, Jesus will take Barabbas’ place on the cross. Barabbas was allowed to go free because Jesus showed up.
A free Barabbas should have created outrage in the hearts of the Jews. Yet in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Jesus taught if we have hatred in our heart or lust in our minds we are guilty of murder and adultery. We are all guilty. That should create outrage. But if we repent and place our faith in Jesus we are forgiven and set free from the penalty of our sins. Romans 5:6-8 reads, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
It is not until we acknowledge our guilt, our need to be forgiven and to be set free from the penalty of our sins that we truly see our need for Jesus. Can you remember the time in your life when you confessed to God that you were a guilty sinner who needed forgiveness? Do you remember accepting Jesus Christ’s death in your place? If not, admit to God right now that you are a guilty sinner and ask for forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ.