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Jesus or Barabbas?

By: Bodé Adeboyejo

 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion…Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”
So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” 
Mark 15:6-7; 12-13

Just before Jesus Christ was crucified, Pontius Pilate asked the people who they would want him to release, Jesus or a hardened criminal, Barabbas?  But the Jews who had falsely accused Jesus of a felony requested that Barabbas be released and Jesus crucified.  They were so envious and adamant to see Him die that they chose a hardened criminal over a sinless Person -- One with whom there was no guile. 

In the Old Testament, God presented the Israelites with blessings and curses, life and death, and then urged them to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). Like God, Pilate presented the Jews Life (Jesus Christ) and death (Barabbas), hoping and even urging them to choose Life. But they chose death (Barabbas) rather than Life. Barabbas represented death, while Jesus represented Life. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4 

What is interesting about this story is that more than two thousand years later most Jews are still choosing death (Barabbas), and not Life (Jesus).  Even more interesting, the Jews are not the only ones choosing death.  Most Gentiles are rejecting Life too to choose death!  Every time someone refuses Jesus, he/she automatically chooses “Barabbas!” 

As it was then, so it is now.  Everyday we are presented with the option to choose between Jesus Christ and Barabbas, between blessings and curses, life and death.  We either choose life or death; Jesus Christ or Barabbas. 

Even we Christians are not exempt from these choices.  Like the unbelievers, we are presented with the choice of Jesus or Barabbas daily.  We are presented with these choices in the form of sin and righteousness.  And every time we sin, we reject Jesus Christ to choose Barabbas.  Every time we sin we nail Jesus Christ afresh to the Cross (Hebrews 6:6). 

Therefore, during this time of the year, as Christians all around the world celebrate the Resurrection, popularly known as Easter, let me urge those of you who have yet to accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sins.  If you are a Jew or Gentile yet to choose Jesus Christ over Barabbas, may I implore you to choose the King of kings and Lord of lords?  Choose life over death.   

If you have already accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, may I urge you not to re-crucify Jesus Christ in your daily actions?  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” -- Romans 12:1 

So then, this Resurrection Season who would it be, Jesus or Barabbas? 


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