15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. 16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.

Matthew 27:13-14

So many times humanity had a chance to not kill its creator. So many times it failed to do so. Some could say it was prophetic and had to happen. Others might say that it was what the Father and Jesus wanted. Finally others might say that the Devil blocked all other ways out so that Jesus could suffer. Whatever the reason, Barabbas was by far the most obvious way out had it been possible.

Barabbas literally means ‘son of a father’. Barabbas represents all of us. He represents all those born of a father. He represents all the sinners of the world. He was notorious. In heaven and around the universe, so are we. The choice should have been an easy one. A horrible sinner with a list of evil deeds or a quiet man who not only did no wrong but actually healed, lifted up and even rose the dead. The most obvious choice would have been to kill the evil one but rarely do we seem to make the obvious choice.

Adam and Eve had every fruit of the garden. There was only one tree that they had to avoid. David had hundreds of wives and even more concubines and yet it was the one woman he couldn’t have that he strove for. Samson could have had any Jewish girl he desired but his eyes were only on the foreign ones. Solomon was the wisest man in the world, a gift given to him by God himself and yet even he was led astray by foolish choices. Our track record is not very good. If we were to look at our individual lives, I don’t think we’d fare much better.

But God still loves us. He still puts up with our foolishness and waits for us. He forgives our sins and gives us new direction in life. Jesus willingly took Barabbas’ place. He would have it no other way. Jesus took our foolishness and used it to save us. That is the God we serve.

Let us never lose hope even when we make mistakes. Let us look up from the soiled ground at his brilliant face. He did everything for us back then and he’s still doing it now.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto