Since both Mom and I were down with incredible cases of sinusitis on Sunday, we did not get to worship with our church family, we curled up with our Kleenex and PJs and watched David Jeremiah, James Merritt, and Charles Stanley.
James Merritt pointed out something that I have always known, but had never put in exactly these words.
The story of Barabbas was put in the Bible to explain in a physical way the Spiritual truth of propitiation.
Barabbas was a robber, a murderer, a liar, a cheat, and profaner of God Himself. He broke every commandment and was sentenced to pay for his crimes. It was a just sentence from the Hebrew perspective of the Ten Commands. The sentence of death was just reward for breaking them as we all know. Here's a look at the commands and the consequences for breaking it.
1 Polytheism - Ex 20:3 - Death Ex 22:20 & Deut 6:13-15 & Acts 14:15
2 Graven images - Ex 20:4 - Death Deut. 27:15 & 1 John 5:21
3 Swearing (God's name in vain) - Ex 20:7 - Death Lev 24:15-16 & James 5:12
4 Not keeping Sabbath - Ex 20:8 - Death Num 15:32-36 & Col 2:16-20 nullifies death penalty for Sabbath
5 Honoring parents - Ex 20:12 - Death Ex 21:15-17 & Eph 6:1
6 Murder - Ex 20:13 - Death Ex 21:12 & 1 John 3:15
7 Adultery - Ex 20:14 - Death Lev 20:10 & 1 Cor 6:9-10
8 Theft - Ex 20:15 - Death Ex 21:16 & Eph 4:28
9 False Witness - Ex 20:16 - Death Deut 18:16-21 & Col 3:9-10
10 Coveting Ex 20:17 - Eph 5:3 (acting upon the thing coveted leads to all the other sins)
God did not take lightly the breaking of His commands, although He gave mercy in the lack of knowledge as Paul indicates in Romans 7:7. Jesus gave mercy by forgiving sins (such as the woman caught in adultery). However, Barabbas was Jewish and had knowledge of the Law, but he had rejected it and had wallowed in his own pleasure and pursuit of pleasure. He was justly sentenced to death.
The crowd was incited to scream for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus. This is a testimony of what man meant for evil, God turns to great good. Releasing of Barabbas was the physical illustration of the Spiritual Truth that only Jesus could make the atonement required by the Law.
Jesus was perfect in every way. The Passover lamb had to be perfect in every way to satisfy God for the Passover sacrifice. Only Jesus satisfied God's requirement through the Law. Isaiah 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Barabbas' death would not have served the greater purpose. It would have been according to the Law--justifiable consequence of sin--yet, God's greater purpose was to show beyond any reasonable doubt that our own physical death is not enough to atone for our own sin, much less any other person's sin. The reason is that we are not perfect as the Passover Lamb. Because we are filthy with our own sin we fall horribly short of the glory of God, and therefore we cannot atone for it with a victory over death and sin. Only Jesus could do that.
An astounding ah HA! moment.
Question: What other ah HA! revelations have you discovered this Easter?