Matthew 27

Jesus or Barabbas?

“Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” (v.17)

Barabbas is a picture of Satan, a murderer from the beginning (Jn. 8:44). He was all that evil represents, but he too was the one the people chose over Christ. Jesus, the sinless one, was traded for Barabbas, the evil one; how often we make this trade in our own lives! We like to prefer the evil over the good. I would not say that he was evil incarnate, or the devil in the flesh, necessarily, but he was representative of mans choice for evil over good. He revealed, in this sense, the heart of man. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” and Genesis 6:5 tells us “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” So we see an accurate and vivid picture of the heart and nature of man. Men made the only choice they knew to make, and chose the sin, because they are by nature sinners. The question for each of us is, whom do we choose? Not who does your wicked neighbor choose, or who does your enemy choose, but who do you choose? Jesus or Barabbas, who will it be? We all will be faced with a choice just as these were, just as every man must, and many of us will make the wrong choice because we still have the wicked heart of unbelief.

Unbelief though, is not only for unbelievers! What do I mean? I mean that there are many born again Christians who walk each day, all day in doubt and unbelief. Their sins are gone, but their nature is still trying to dominate them, and they are under the influence of “self.” It is shameful the way we put on a facade of spirituality, when inside we are insecure and have no real confidence in our God. Yes, we choose the Barabbas spirit over the Lord’s Spirit, and unfortunately, it shows in our churches and in our lives. There is a weakness in the Christian realm today, though we try to hide it behind a veil of faith, (a thin veil at that) we do not walk in the assurance of God’s promises and His glorious provision. We still live according to our heart, and not according to the Word of God in faith. Yes, our heart has been changed, and our lives changed, but the shadow of unbelief haunts us daily, and we succumb to its wooing power. Let’s choose Christ once, and for all, and crucify Barabbas instead!

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