Haunted by our past deeds, words spoken in haste, thought that won’t quit. We all experience regrets. We all have to make peace with our “ghosts.” But can we really have peace until we confront the truth and make restitution with God?
Barabbas, what about you? Did you look into Jesus’ pleading eyes as you passed Him on your way out? Was your heart torn or did you run and hide in your guilt and shame? Did you count the lashes as they beat Him …thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine while you planned your next revolt? Were you among the crowd that watched Him struggle beneath the burden of your cross? Yes, Barabbas, that cross was yours. You could have offered to carry it for Him, you know. Did you cringe with fear as you heard the hammer clash against the nails that pierced His tender hands and feet? That sound must have echoed throughout the city like thunder. Did it echo through your head that night while you tried to sleep? Did you know that He gave His life willing for you? Did you have enough nerve to stick around and witness the crucifixion of the Innocent One who took your place? Did you mock Him like the rest, Barabbas? Did panic strike when the earthquake shook the ground you were standing on? And the darkness, how did that make you feel? Was any of it enough to melt your heart of stone, Barabbas? Could tears have flooded your eyes as you heard Him say, “It is finished.” He lowered His head then and died in your place. What was on your mind just then? Were you scheming your next crime? Who would be your next victim?
Barabbas, what about you? Were you still in town when the news gushed through Jerusalem like a raging river? “Jesus is risen!” The cry sounded throughout the city in spite of the order of silence. News like that makes great waves even when it comes on whispers. Did you weep then? Did you realize He was the Son of God and that He came to take away the sins of the world? Did you slither through the streets to the tomb to see for yourself? Did you keep a closer watch on the events of the day? Weren’t you curious to know the truth? Who was this man, Jesus, who took your place at Golgotha? Surely even in prison you heard rumors of this Man before He died. His miracles, healings, and walking on water were common knowledge. People talked of the possibilities of His identity. Many thought that He was a great prophet such as Elijah or Jeremiah, or John Baptist. Others believed Jesus was the Messiah.
What about you, Barabbas, who did you think He was? Your curiosity must have risen with the news of His resurrection. Did you stand close enough to hear the testimonies of the apostles? Were you among the five hundred to see Jesus ascend on a cloud? Did you witness the baptism of the Holy Ghost on the apostles and listen to Peter as he spoke concerning the Son of God? Did you believe then? Were your garments washed in the blood of Jesus? Will we see you, Barabbas, walking down the streets of gold? Will we hear your voice blended with the rest of the saints praising the Lamb that was slain?
Barabbas, what about you? Did you become a believer? He died for you. Did you accept Him? Your sins were grave indeed, but He willing gave Himself for you that you might live.
Even the vilest of sinners can come to the cross and receive pardon. It is not God’s will that any should parish, but that all should come to repentance. Barabbas had his chance. Now it is yours. What about you?
See you in a twinkling,