Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"

An Evil Man

Briefing: In law enforcement, we meet so many people. Some I would like to know more about their story or who they were. Barabbas is one of those characters that I am curious to know more about.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 27:11-26.

On the Street: Jesus Barabbas. Does the name shock you? It did me, the first time I learned who he was and what his name meant. Jesus Barabbas was a criminal.

Satan is the father of lies. He will stop at nothing to distort the truth. The name Barabbas means son of the father. Jesus Barabbas obviously would mean Jesus son of the father. Romans 1:25 is not speaking about this event but the words used in the verse are exactly what I would use to describe this situation. "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie?"

Jesus Barabbas was a leader of sedition, an insurrectionist, a murderer and a thief. He was a guilty man deserving of his punishment. Jesus, on the other hand, was totally innocent and undeserving of any punishment. The crowd chose a murderer over the true King of kings and Lord of lords.

Barabbas had dared to resist the mighty power of Rome and was caught in the act of insurrection. He was probably a zealot, at any case a rebel who had committed murder. The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come and establish the kingdom by force of arms. When Barabbas was put in prison, he became a popular folk hero and just what the people were looking for in a deliverer. He was sentenced to die and was waiting crucifixion. Not long after, Jesus was arrested, humiliated, and deserted by His friends. Because He had not established the kingdom immediately by force the people felt like He had let them down.

To appease the Jews, it was the custom of Pontius Pilate to release one prisoner a year at Passover. Pilate saw no fault in Jesus and proposed that He be released. When the Jews made it clear they wanted Jesus crucified, Pilate presented them with an option that he assumed they could not refuse. He would give them the choice of Barabbas, which he assumed the Jewish leaders would never accept because he was more trouble for the Jews than anyone else, or Jesus Christ. Annas, the high priest would not want revolt by releasing Barabbas, but he did not want Jesus either. To Pilate's shock and amazement they chose Jesus Christ. Pilate could not go back on his word and released Barabbas. He handed Jesus over to be crucified.

Highlights from this Read: Jesus Barabbas was an Edomite, a descendant of Esau. If you are following the timeline of these events, this occurred between 6:00 - 7:00 a.m.

Keep in mind that Pilate was not a nice guy. He had killed many Jewish people. In verse eleven, Pilate asks Jesus if He is the king of the Jews. In Matthew 2:2, the Magi came looking for "The King of the Jews". Yes, He was!

Investigational Resources: Other gospel accounts can be found in Mark 15:2-15, Luke 23:2-3, 18-25 and John 18:25-19:16.

Officer Safety Principle: The devil is a deceiver and we have to be on our guard against his lies. Pray for discernment in matters of truth.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.

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