Being Barabbas: “The Insurrectionary”

Many times, during passion week, we forget a singular character that played a role that many of us would even dare to pay attention to. When we read or hear about him, we do not even care to analyze why did the Gospel writers even care to write about him.

We look at him as a thug, an insurrectionary, an assassin, a revolutionary . We look at him and dare to judge him by looking down to him , not realizing that he is a reflection of us.

In the scene where Pilate thought the destiny of Jesus was in his hands, God Himself already had a plan. God was willing to give His own son: The righteous for the unrighteous, the clean for the unclean, the holy for the unholy.

We have two men on trial here:

One who rightly  deserves the punishment of the cross: a thug, an assassin, an insurrectionary.

Yes! an insurrectionary, that is someone that is trying to rebel and liberate oneself and/or a group of people from the oppressive system using his/her own means and strength.

The other One does not deserve to die, rather He deserves to be enthroned for the many acts of compassion, love, healing, and sacrifice. He healed the sick, set the captives free, cast out the oppressive spirits, and touched the unclean and made him/her clean.

The verdict is clear, Barabbas should have been put to death on the cross. But instead the Divine took his iniquities on that cross, so that he might be liberated. The reality is that if Jesus did not go to the cross, Barabbas should have gone to that cross, and rightfully so.

Nowadays many of us forget that pivotal moment where Barabbas did nothing and simply received and said “yes” to the freedom that was offered by Jesus.

His chains were falling to the ground as Jesus was about to receive the punishment that he deserved.

Barabbas was indeed an insurrectionary, and certainly we are too. We try to liberate ourselves by our own strength and our own means. We try to do everything that is in our reach to  try to free ourselves!

Then we find ourselves in a trial (like Barabbas), where we realize that we have tried everything, but the chains still on our hands. Instances later, we see Jesus heading to the cross to take our place, we try to stop Him! We try to convince Him that through our marvelous deeds, devotion to the commandments, compassionate acts, righteous suffering and religious flirt He doesn’t have to go to the cross.

We tell Him that through those pious acts we can finally “feel” free as if we “truly” were free. Some of us will even try to convince Jesus to allow us to go to the cross instead of Him. But then Jesus tells us: “Just take it, just accept it, don’t you see that there is nothing you need to do in order for me to love you? I love you!”

This passion week let us remember that we are all Barabbas. Let us receive the undeserved gift that was given to us through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, a cross that was rightfully ours, but in His infinite and indescribable mercies became His.


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