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Barabbas was a son of Abba or of a father, a notorious robber whom Pilate proposed to condemn to death instead of Jesus, whom he wished to release, in accordance with the Roman custom (John 18:40; Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19). But the Jews were so bent on the death of Jesus that they demanded that Barabbas should be pardoned (Matthew 27:16-26; Acts 3:14). This Pilate did. The Only Man Commenting on Barabbas, Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote, “He was the only man in the world who could say that Jesus Christ took his physical place. But I can say that Jesus Christ took my spiritual place. For it was I who deserved to die. It was I who deserved that the wrath of God should be poured on me. I deserved the eternal punishment of the lake of fire. He was delivered up for my offenses. He was handed over to judgment because of my sins…. Christ was my substitute. He was satisfying the debt of divine justice and holiness. That is why I say that Christianity can be expressed in the three phrases: I deserved hell; Jesus took my hell; there is nothing left for me but His heaven.” - D. C. E. Our Daily Bread, Wednesday, March 30 "A king? They call him King! Is homage due To such a one? A King? Can it be true? The lowly Jew, horn in far Bethlehem? Men from all nations say He died for them And rose from death, to hold a heavenly sway To which all men must bow the knee some day. ‘The king? He’s not our king!’ the Jews once cried— ‘Away with Him! Let Him be crucified! His claim is false. He is no king of Jews. Away with Him! Kill! Crucify! We choose Barabbas.’ So a robber goes out free, While Jesus Christ is led to Calvary." From Sanctuary by David Jeremiah Set Free He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. –2 Corinthians 5:21 I once heard someone say that of all men who ever lived, Barabbas should have the best understanding of vicarious substitution. Somebody died in his place. This murderer and thief walked out a free man, the crowds cheering his release. At the same time, an innocent Jesus was sentenced to die. But Barabbas isn’t the only one who can say that Jesus died in his place. We can all say that Jesus Christ died on that cross for us, just as He did for Barabbas. In the words of 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus died that we might live. He was bound that we who are in bondage to sin might be set free.
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