Jesus: The Rejected One (John 18)
We don’t think about Barabbas a lot, though he comes up more often at Easter when many churches turn their attention to the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. Here are two things we know: (1) His name, “Bar-abbas,” means “son of the father.” Interesting parallel to Jesus who is “The Son” of The Father. (2) His crime: He was guilty of starting a riot and murder. It seems that he was the most notorious prisoner on hand, because Pilate was trying to give the crowd an unpalatable choice.
But in Barabbas we have an amazing picture of the gospel. Put yourself in his shoes on that fateful day. You are sitting in a Roman jail awaiting your death. You are surely going to be crucified for your crimes against Rome. Day after day you sit in this jail, anticipating the nails, the mockery, the excruciating pain, the blood filling your lungs, the breaking of your legs. That’s the future you have in store for you. You don’t know when it’s coming, but it’s coming. But then you hear a mob outside. Obviously, something is going on. Has word gotten out that today is your day, the day for your execution? Surely the bloodthirsty crowd is there for you. And what is this that they are shouting? “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Then the Roman guard comes and gets you. He drags you up in front of the mob and… sets you free. You see Jesus being taken away for execution. This innocent man is being crucified on trumped up charges. You, the guilty one, are being set free as if you were innocent.
What a picture of the gospel! Jesus bears our guilt and shame and curse and disgrace and death. We receive the position that Jesus deserved; we are free and innocent of all our crimes. He gets what we deserve; we get what he deserved. (Credit to Mike McKinley)
Jesus: The Rejected One
Overarching truth: Jesus was rejected by men so that we might be accepted by God.
Five-fold rejection of Jesus and the results:
1. Jesus was betrayed so that we could be kept. (1-3)
2. Jesus was arrested so that we could be free. (3-14)
3. Jesus was denied so that we could be claimed. (15-18, 25-27)
4. Jesus was condemned so that we could be pardoned. (19-24, 28-38)
5. Jesus was rejected so that we could be released. (39-40)