At Passover God’s judgement passed over every door that was covered by the blood of the sacrificial lamb. The Apostle Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed and in a similar way, every individual who has prayed for the blood of Jesus to cover them, will be spared God’s judgement also for Christ has become our substitute. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul put it this way: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” This is the great exchange! This is the only way man can be reconciled to God in Heaven!
Hebrews 9:22 affirms what the Old Testament taught, that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” and today it is the shed blood of Jesus Christ that pays the debt we owe! This is why Jesus can say in John 14:6: “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”. And Acts 4:12 confirms that: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
There is a perfect illustration of what Jesus has done on our behalf found in the pages of John 18:39-40. The religious leaders brought Jesus to Pilate and asked that He be put to death, but sensing how dangerous the situation was, Pilate did not want to be responsible for what happened to Jesus. As he struggled over what to do Pilate tried to think of a way he could prevent Christ’s death. At Passover it was customary for the Romans to release a prisoner to the crowds, as an act of benevolence and so Pilate offered them the choice between Jesus and a robber by the name of Barabbas. Actually, Luke’s account of the event in Luke 23 gives the additional information that Barabbas was a revolutionary who was also guilty of murder. Pilate was sure that the crowd would choose to release Jesus and condemn the evil Barabbas, but that was not the case! Stirred up by the religious leaders the crowd screamed for Christ to be crucified and for Barabbas to be released!
In this we see a perfect picture of salvation by grace! On the one hand is the King of Glory, perfect with no fault of His own; on the other this wicked lawbreaker. Though not deserving of death, Christ will die so the guilty one might go free! Barabbas is the embodiment of all of us! According to God’s standards each of us, like Barabbas stand worthy of death, but Christ the innocent one, has died in our place so that we might be released from the judgment against us. It is a blessing to me to realize that Barabbas’ name meant: “son of the father” because as we are set free by Christ’s sacrifice we too become children of God the Father.
We are never told if Barabbas lived up to his name. No one knows of what became of him after he was released, but his story clearly shows us that the lawbreaker’s salvation depended on Christ taking his place on the cross. Christ can be your substitute too. He will take the punishment for your sin upon Himself so that you might go free. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Blessings on your day!