The Just for the Unjust

Today’s Passages – Mark 15 – 16; Proverbs 24

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 116 – 118; Memorize – Psalm 126:5 & 6)

“And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.” – (Mark 15:15)

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” – (1 Peter 3:18)

I am a little embarassed to admit this, but this morning is the first time that I have given some thought to this man Barabbas who was a prisoner released by Pilate at the request of the Jews. The Scripture doesn’t tell us much about this man, save that he had committed insurrection presumably against the Roman government, and was guilty of murder. Jesus, on the other hand, was guilty of nothing but loving the people who were condemning Him. I am not too surprised that the Jews would want him released as it appears that Barabbas was trying to overthrow the Roman government; but why would Pilate agree to such a thing. Pilate was the man given the authority to make the call; and he knew that Barabbus was guilty and a danger to society. He also knew that Jesus was completely innocent. It just doesn’t make sense.

However, neither does it make sense that a just God would condemn His sinless Son to death in order to set free a bunch of vile sinners like us. Did you ever make the spiritual connection between yourself and Barabbas. I know what you might be thinking right now: you’re saying to yourself that Barabbas was a bad person, and he really deserved to be punished. But what about you and me? Are we good people? Or are we as the Scripture says: completely guilty before a just and holy God?  You see, you and I deserve the same judgement that Barabbas deserved; but the Lord Jesus willingly took our place: the innocent for the guilty; the just for the unjust. It’s mind-boggling to think that God would go to such lengths to save such unworthy creatures such as we.


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