Mark 15:15 - So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
Barabbas must have been shocked when they opened his cell door and called him out. He was a murderer and a rebel; he knew that death was in store for him.
How he must have questioned the guards as he stumbled through the hallways leading out of the prison. "The crowds chose me!?" he must have asked. "And who is the other guy? Jesus of Nazareth?"
We don't know if Barabbas knew who Jesus was. Perhaps he had heard about His preaching, His teaching—perhaps he knew about His miracles. Maybe Barabbas had even been among Jesus' crowds listening to Him for a while. It hadn't stopped him ending up in Pilate's prison. And yet now, here was Jesus—switching places with him, doomed to end up on Barabbas' cross.
Barabbas' name means "son of the father." I hope at some point in his new, free, second life, he took the time to learn about the true Son of the Father: Jesus our Savior, who suffered, died, and rose for him, for all of us, who can now become sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father through Jesus' mercy.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for taking our place. Amen.
Can you remember a time when you switched places with someone else? What happened?
Has anyone ever taken your punishment—or consequences—in your place? If you are willing, tell the story.
What does it mean to you now, that you are a son or daughter of the Father?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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