I Am Barabbas

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 King 19-20; Luke 23:1-25


13 Then Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. 14 He said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who was misleading the people. I have questioned him in your presence and found nothing in this man’s conduct that provides a legal basis for the charges you have brought against him. 15 Neither did Herod, because Herod returned him to us. He’s done nothing that deserves death.16 Therefore, I’ll have him whipped, then let him go.”

18 But with one voice they shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.” (19 Barabbas had been thrown into prison because of a riot that had occurred in the city, and for murder.)

20 Pilate addressed them again because he wanted to release Jesus.

21 They kept shouting out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time, Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done? I’ve found no legal basis for the death penalty in his case. Therefore, I will have him whipped, then let him go.”

23 But they were adamant, shouting their demand that Jesus be crucified. Their voices won out. 24 Pilate issued his decision to grant their request. 25 He released the one they asked for, who had been thrown into prison because of a riot and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will. (Luke 23:13-25, Common English Bible)

I was thinking about this text this morning. I was thinking about what I might write. I had made a decision and started looking for a graphic for the post when I saw the meme above. It not only caused me to rethink my post for today, it caused me to rethink the way I have always looked at this passage.

When I started out today, I was asking the question, “Why would they choose him?” After all, Barabbus was a murderer, a thief, an insurrectionist. Come to think of it, why would Pilate be willing to crucify Jesus and let a known traitor and troublemaker go? It is a rather perplexing riddle.

Then I saw the meme. “I am Barabbas.” Actually, I saw another meme first and this was all it said. My immediate thought when seeing it was, “This is someone trying to get attention by saying something controversial. Then I saw the meme above and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, OK, I wasn’t actually moving other than a scrolling finger. Still, I stopped scrolling and sat and thought about that for a moment. Whoever posted it is right! “I am Barabbas and so are you.”

OK Keith, how did you reach that conclusion?

Wow! I thought you’d never ask. I am so glad you did. When you stop and think about it, what was Barabbas? Yes, he was a thief, a murderer, an insurrectionist, and probably a few other things the Bible doesn’t tell is about. All of that is what Barabbas was to a secular world and government. What was Barabbas to a spiritual world, a more spiritual government? It can be summed up in one word, “Sinner.” But, what is more, he is a sinner saved by the grace of God because Jesus died to save Barabbas and you and me from our sins.

The Scriptures say nothing more about Barabbas. We have no idea what happened to him after his release. He was very popular among the Jews. because he wanted the Romans gone log enough he tried to lead insurrection itself.

Legend has it, he went to Golgotha to watch the crucifixion for himself.

Another legend has Barabbas leading another revolt. This time he is killed.

Whatever the case may have been, it is my hope that Barabbas made peace with God and is spending eternity in his hands.

It is my prayer we will too.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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