Sermon Based Small Groups

Search Party – Part 4 – Barabbas: Freed by the Truth

By April 1, 2018 No Comments

Sermon Based Group Homework

For the message on April 1, 2018
Passage: John 18:38-40


1. What was the typical mode of punishment from your parents growing up – spankings, time out, grounded, losing a privilege, lecture, etc.?

2. In this study, we will look at how we are all like Barabbas who was freed because Jesus took his place. Have you ever had anyone take the blame (or punishment) for something that you had done? How did this make you feel?

3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?


1. Mike explained this Sunday that Barabbas was guilty for rebelling against Rome (Mark 15:7) and committing murder. Like Barabbas, we too have rebelled against God. When God’s children rebel, how does He respond according to these passages?

Nehemiah 9:24-28 (ESV)
24  So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25  And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness. 26  “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27  Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28  But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies.

Hebrews 12:5-11 (ESV)
5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

  • What is surprising about the manner in which God responds to His rebellious children?
  • What is God’s motive in chastising us when we rebel? What is God’s goal for us?
  • Can you think of a time when you rebelled against God and His Word after you had come to know Him? How did God treat you?

2. Barabbas had run out of options for escaping death. He couldn’t do anything to make up for what he had done. In the eyes of the Romans, he was guilty and deserving of death. Not only are we rebellious like Barabbas, we are also unable to earn our freedom through good behavior. Why won’t God give us a free pass if we try to be a good person and do some good things? How do the following verses make clear that we need grace to escape the death sentence hanging over us for our sins?

Isaiah 64:6 (ESV)
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

James 2:10 (ESV)
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

Galatians 2:21 (ESV)
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

  • Why do so many people think that being a good person is the requirement for going to heaven when they die?
  • Why is the concept of “receiving a free gift” hard for some people to accept when it comes to being reconciled to God?

3. Like Barabbas, we can walk into freedom because Jesus took our place in death and walked out of the tomb alive. According to the following verses, what do you think it means to be free as a believer?

Romans 6:22 (ESV)
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Romans 8:1-4 (ESV)
1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Colossians 1:21-23 (ESV)
21  And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22  he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

  • As believers, we are free from the power of sin and the penalty of sin but not the presence of sin. What would you tell a new believer about what it means to be freed by the death and resurrection of Jesus?
  • What would you tell an unbeliever who is struggling with the idea of grace and not having to earn their forgiveness from God?


1. Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, is there one thing you’d especially like to remember or do as a result of what God has revealed to you?

2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?

Prayer Requests:

Sundays: 9:30 & 11:00AM