April 24

Now it was the custom… to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man named Barabbas was in prison for insurrection and murder… Pilate asked, “Do you want me to release the King of the Jews?” he knew it was out if envy that Jesus had been handed over to him. But the chief priest stirred up the crowd to have Barabbas released instead. “What shall I do with the King of the Jews?” he asked. “Crucify Him!” they shouted. (Mark 15:6-13 NIV)

Funny how public opinion is so feeble at times. The Jews hailed Christ their king as he entered Jerusalem not a week before this moment; throwing cloaks down, waving palm branches, and even singing and quoting Scripture. Now disillusioned, these same Jews cried out for their king’s death. Instead of releasing Christ they release a murderer. Barabbas was an unpleasant fellow to say the least. Is that really who they would rather see walking the street at night?  When we look at the big picture in this scenario it was a condition of the heart that was seen in the Jews. They choose Barabbas over Jesus. Are there any Barabbas’s in your life? Have you substituted Christ for some other idol of your making? When it comes down to it every time we choose to walk away from fellowship with Christ we have just sat Barabbas in his place. Whoever or whatever our Barabbas may look like he is in a place he does not belong – Our hearts. We can repent of that idol worship and give Christ first place in our lives and hearts. Or we can just keep shouting, “Crucify!”