The picture to the left is titled: Give Us Barabbas.  You can read about this historical figure by clicking here.  In this post I ask you to consider some things about Barabbas in relation to Jesus.

  First: According to some Bible texts, Barabbas’ full name was Jesus bar-Abbas… which translated means Jesus son of Abbas.  Abbas (Abba) means Father or Daddy.  Thus his name literally meant, “Jesus, son of the Father.”  The Hebrew form of the name Jesus is Joshua, which means “Jehovah saves.”  Aside: The meaning of Barabbas’ name is quite interesting as you will see when he is compared to Jesus of Nazareth.

  Second: Barabbas was a revolutionary.  Today he would be considered an insurrectionist much like those we read about in Iraq that are using IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) to cause fear and panic in the country.  Barabbas caused a lot of problems for the government.  Barabbas was a man hated by many.

  Third: Jesus of Nazareth was also a revolutionary… of a different kind.  His revolution taught to forgive your enemies… love those who don’t love you… to be holy because God is holy… give to those in need… to turn the other cheek… to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and body… and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

  Fourth: All four Gospels record that there was a tradition that each year during the Passover, one condemned man was released and therefore pardoned of their crimes.

  Fifth: Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus bar-Abbas were both condemned to die.  According to the custom, Pilate decided to give the people a choice of who he would release.  Jesus bar-Abbas {Insurrectionist revolutionary for war} or Jesus of Nazareth {Religious revolutionary for peace}.

  Sixth: Pilate thought the choice would be easy.  Jesus of Nazareth who healed & raised people from the dead… who never harmed anyone… who preached peace VERSUS Jesus bar-Abbas who was violent… an agitator… and constantly stirred up trouble.  After all… who would choose a murderer over a peace maker?

  Seventh: The people chose to have Jesus bar-Abbas released.  Why?  Because you can always end his kind of revolution because it had to do with the sword.  Jesus of Nazareth’s revolution was of the heart and couldn’t be stopped unless you killed the leader (Or so they thought).

  Result: Jesus bar-Abbas was freed and was never heard from again.  His revolution was destroyed by the Romans.  Jesus of Nazareth was killed… and his revolution is still going on today in the hearts and lives of millions.  Jesus of Nazareth’s revolution continues because it was not one of the sword, but of the heart of one who loved enough to die AND be raised from the dead.

  Conclusion: The revolution of Jesus son of the father (Barabbas) failed.  Jesus of Nazareth’s revolution has never stopped… and will never end… because his revolution was born in heaven, not on earth.  Jesus of Nazareth’s revolution builds people up, encourages, and saves them from their sin.  The wisdom of the world was foolishness in relation to who was condemned and who was set free.  It was the condemned one who set people free!