20th June 2018


“‘But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?’ Then they all cried again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber.”
John 18:39-40 (NKJV)

The story of Barabbas being released and Jesus crucified is recorded in all four Gospels: Matthew 27:15-26, Mark 15:6-15, Luke 23:13-25 and John 18:39-40. The Gospel of John was written much later than the other three and he says in John 20:30-31 that he recorded events specifically so that we may believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and have life in His name.

In Matthew’s account, we see that there is a hidden parallel to this event, with Barabbas’ name actually being ‘Jesus Barabbas.’ Perhaps the other Bible translators did not like to include the name Jesus because it was also the name of our Saviour. Jesus was a common name at the time, and is still a relatively common name in some languages, such as Spanish. The name Barabbas means ‘son of Abba’ or ‘son of the father’ (Strong’s Bible Concordance & Thayer’s Greek Lexicon), which takes the comparison further.

Barabbas deserved the death penalty for his crimes. If we compare the four gospel accounts we see he was guilty of insurrection, murder, robbery and rioting against Rome, who ruled Judah at the time. Jesus on the other hand was innocent. Pilate in Luke 23:14-15 says, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.”

And so we see the innocent dying and the guilty going free, which is the Gospel of grace. Jesus, the Son of God, who never sinned, died for the sins of all mankind, past, present and future! (Hebrews 7:22-27)

As we study your word it reveals your love and your plan. We praise you, Father, for the grace that lets us go free. Thank you, Saviour, for your sacrifice that cleanses us so that we can have life as ‘sons of the father.’

Study by Nancy Silcox


About the Author:
Nancy Silcox attends the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK. Nancy prepares and uploads the Day by Day studies submitted by members of the Worldwide Church of God UK/Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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