"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Barabbas and Me

Give us Barabbas!
Why in the world would they choose to release Barabbas instead of you, Lord?  

These were the thoughts that came tumbling out of my heart when reading the account of Pilate's offer to release a prisoner for the Passover feast*.  (John 18:39-40)  "Give us Barabbas!" they cried.  

After all they had seen of Jesus.  After seeing His healing, His kindness, and hearing His teaching...  They chose Barabbas, Lord??!!  

No, Stephanie. I chose Barabbas.  The words flooded my mind.  I chose Barabbas.  "No one can take my life from me.  I lay it down voluntarily.  For I have the right to lay it down and the power to take it up again.  My Father has given me this right."  (John 10:18)

And, I chose you, too.  

Me and Barabbas.  Both rebellious sinners...both guilty.  Both released and offered freedom on the same day.  That day Jesus took our punishment, walked our road, and carried our sins.   Barabbas' crime and sentence---my punishment and my sin.  

I am chosen.  I am released.  He walked in my place.
Chosen to be freed and offered a new life.  I wonder how Barabbas spent his remaining free days on earth?  I want to remember and walk as one loved, chosen and set free each day of my life.  You?  How will you spend your days of freedom?  
"Where have your love, your mercy, your compassion shone out more luminously than in your own wounds, sweet gentle Lord of mercy?  More mercy than this no one has than that he lay down his life for those who are doomed to death."  ~Bernard of Clairvaus
*I am reading a wonderful daily Lent devotion that is free for download here.  
"See yourself as Barabbas, [condemned] awaiting your sentence of death.  Then consider how it would be to have someone loosen your chains, and release you, no questions asked." ~Tricia Rhodes
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