Week 20 Recap: Days 115-120

Devotion by: Zac Collins

Happy Easter!

We’ve made it to the end. A painful week overcome by grace. I want to concentrate on day two of this week. In the middle of the story of Jesus heading toward the cross, the story veers off the road slightly to give us a glimpse of the magnitude of the cross placed neatly in the middle of Jesus’ trial.

Read John 18:39-40.

We see that Pilate offers a deal. He can release one prisoner. Pilate seems to be trying to give them every chance to take Jesus back and not move forward with the cross. The people weren’t having it.

“We want Barabbas!” they shout. Barabbas is a rebel and murderer. Someone utterly deserving of the chains and the punishment coming to him. Pilate agrees to release Barabbas, and then we never hear of Barabbas again.

This part of Jesus’ story is a beautiful summary of the cross. A man fully deserving of his punishment is set free and in his place stands Jesus. Judah Smith has a beautiful quote, “Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so that he could treat Barabbas like Jesus.” That’s us. Fully deserving of the punishment. Fully deserving of the weight of shame, guilt, and pain from our mistakes. But that all was lifted. Lifted and nailed to a cross.

You see the movies depicting this portion of the story. Jesus standing next to Pilate at the top of some grand staircase outside a courthouse. Moments prior, Barabbas was in his cell, chained to his mistakes. And now he walks free down the steps and into the crowd. What did he think while he walked away? Did he come to realize who Jesus was or did he go right back to being his former self? I don’t know. What I do know is that it didn’t change Jesus’ mission. Jesus’ death and resurrection were not a reward for something we had done. They were gifts we don’t deserve.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

Jessica Spivey