Tuesday, April 28, 2015

release Barabbas!

yesterday's readings: Judges 7:1-8:17, Luke 23:13-43, Psalms 97:1-98:9, Proverbs 14:7-8

i accidentally skipped ahead and did today's reading yesterday. so here is yesterday's reading, so we're caught up.

so the reading points to the releasing of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate, trying to get out of the position of condemning an obviously innocent man, brings up the custom of releasing one prisoner. the crowd, unknowingly bringing Jesus's blood on themselves and their children to save them, calls for the death of Jesus.

most movies that portray this scene show Barabbas as above: a laughing rabble rouser, a despicable troublemaker. but Benedict XVI wrote a fascinating book called Jesus of Nazareth, in which he talks about the life of Christ. he mentions Barabbas, and shows that there is very good reason to think that Barabbas was the Messianic revolutionary that the people expected Jesus to be. the name Barabbas, in fact, means 'Son of the Father', which was a common name for Jewish revolutionaries to take. and he is described in the gospels as being a revolutionary and a rebel. many scholars think that he was trying to overthrow the Roman occupation and begin the reign of Israel as its own Kingdom, which many thought the Messiah would do.

this makes the decision by the crowd to release Barabbas instead of Jesus make more sense, from a political point of view. they wanted their revolution now. they wanted immediate results, rather than the far greater revolution that Jesus was bringing to the whole world.

the amazing thing to realize is that God, in His infinite wisdom, worked the crowd's decision to bring about the very revolution that Jesus was intended to bring to the world. through Jesus's death, His resurrection became a reality. and through that resurrection, not only was the Roman control of Jerusalem overthrown, but the control of death over all of humanity was overthrown.

thanks be to God for His infinite wisdom, which works everything for the good of those who love Him.

1 comment:

julie reedy said...

This part of the Holy Week always takes me back to driving down a country road in East Texas many years ago and hearing for the 1st time Ray Boltz, "Watch the Lamb," I found myself pulling over to the side of the road and I sobbed uncontrollably to the lyrics of that song. To this day I cry when I hear the song or read the lyrics. You see we were there and were a part of this and only by what Christ did are we forgiven.