Daily Devotional

Barabbas: The Way of the World

by Simon Whitton

15 Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.
16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.
17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"

Matthew 27:15-17 (NIV)

The crowd was faced with only two choices, Barabbas or Jesus.

They seemed to have a few things in common. They were both well-known and were accused of crimes of rebellion. Both were trying to bring freedom from oppression; Barabbas from the oppression of Caesar, Jesus from the oppression of Satan. The name Barabbas or Bar-Abba means 'son of the father'.  'Abba' was a name that Jesus often used to refer to God.

They represent two different ways to solve problems:

Barabbas was in prison for involvement in a violent uprising, a rebellion. It seems likely that, like most Jews, he wanted freedom from Roman rule; and he sought a forceful and pragmatic solution. Indeed, many in Israel were expecting the Messiah to be a political saviour. Barabbas represents the way of the world.

Then there was Jesus, the Christ (Anointed One). Just some hours earlier, when He was arrested, He made an interesting statement:

At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?
Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.

Matthew 26:55 (NIV)

“Am I leading a rebellion?" No, He sat in the temple courts every day teaching the way of God.

"Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity
and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.

Matthew 22:16b (NIV)

The way of God is not the way of the world. Jesus represents the kingdom of God.

Whatever you are facing in your life, whether decisions, needs or problems, you may well be able to come up with practical solutions. But don't look to the way of the world. Don't make the mistake of the crowd. Look to the way of God. Seek the Lord and trust in Him.

As Christians we do use worldly ways, but not as the world does. Turn to God, making sure that all faith and confidence is in Him alone. Let what you do spring out of your relationship with Him. Those who put their hope in Barabbas were to be disappointed, but those who put their hope in Christ witnessed the Kingdom of God come with power.

Release Christ, the true 'Son of the Father', into your situation through prayer. Declare that your confidence is in Him and not the world's answers, and let Him bring freedom to you and those around you.

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