Barabbas means ‘son of the father’

cross-silhouette1I’m not sure if the saying ‘you learn something new every day’ is infallibly true but I certainly saw something new yesterday. Our senior pastor Ray Evans was teaching on our Explore Christianity course. As we were talking about what Jesus death on the cross achieved for us, he went back to the story of the trial before Pilate. As you might recall it was customary to release one prisoner as chosen by the crowd. Pilate asked whether the crowd wanted Barabbas (a notorious criminal and insurrectionist) or Jesus released to them. They asked for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. Now to the interesting bit I hadn’t seen before. Barabbas name means ‘son of the father.’ Jesus is the Son of the Father. Barabbas is a rebellious runaway son who has turned his back on his heavenly Father. It is the Son of the Father, Jesus, who takes the punishment he (and we) deserve so that he might truly be a son of his heavenly Father again. It’s a great picture of what Good Friday is all about. We, like Barabbas, are all sons (and daughters) of the heavenly Father who have turned our backs on him. God sends his unique Son, Jesus, to bear our punishment in our place that we, like Barabbas, go free and might once again be sons and daughters with relationship restored. The Bar-Abba dies so that rebel Bar-Abbas’ can go free. Amazing grace!

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