Exchanged Life, God, Grace, Grace / Mercy, Obedience, Righteousness, Surrender

“Hey, Barabbas, I’m Talking To You.”

Imagine with me for a moment:

It’s a cramped, musty hole in a stone wall. A handful of prisoners lie on the ground. No room to stand. A boulder covers the opening, dashing hopes of escape. The only light peers through a thin crack in the rock.

He squinted to see through the crack. Roman soldiers gathered on a distant hill. He could hear them hammering spikes. He watched soldiers struggle to lift massive crosses into the air and plop them into deep holes.

He knew one of those crosses was his.

Romans sentenced him to death. The judge told him he raped a temple prostitute. But he doesn’t remember. He was drunk.

Maybe he was in a gang. Maybe his father beat him. Maybe his mother was a prostitute herself. We don’t know. Whatever he did the Romans sentenced him to be crucified. His day had come. He was waiting for Roman guards to come get him and drag him up the hill to die. His life was over.

Then he heard the crunch, crunch, crunch of sandals on gravel. The crunching stopped. He heard grunting and watched the huge stone over the opening move. The rock rolled away. Silence.

“Barabbas?  Silence.

“Hey, Barabbas, I’m talking to you.”

Barabbas crawled in silence towards the light and the voices.

Barabbas squeezed out of the hole in the rock and stood up. He waited for them to chain his hands and feet or beat him.

“You’re free to go,” a guard mumbled.

“What?” Barabbas misunderstood him.

“You’re free to go. Now get out of here.”

“But how can that be?” Barabbas asked in dazed disbelief.

“That Jew making claims to be God and stirring up the whole town is going to take your place.”


“They’re gonna crucify him in your place.”

We’re all Barabbas, you know. Our sin condemned us to die.

But Jesus took your place too. And mine.

9 thoughts on ““Hey, Barabbas, I’m Talking To You.”

    1. The meaning of his name really puzzled me as well. I guess we’ll never know who his father was and why it was important for his father to name him that. Maybe it was because when Jesus took his place, He made us all sons of the Father.


      1. As a “heathen,” he was a child of the devil (as were we all). No doubt God had a hand in the naming of this man.

        As in many other places of the Bible, even the names give us the Gospel story: The picture we get at the cross because of it is Jesus’ substitutionary death for all the “children of THAT father!” By this, we are now the Children of the Father Himself. Hallelujah!



      2. Great observation. I must admit I had never thought of Christ as being the propitiation for our sins such that God the Father became the Father of those who used to be the children of the father of lies. Thank you for that insight. God bless.


  1. And yet, many will shun the one who took their place. They’ll go on their merry way, never looking back, not even bothering to acknowledge what He has done. I pray that all who read this post, will stop, and thank Him over, and over, for what He did on the cross. Blessings.


    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You are right, though. Many will keep on keeping on and never give Jesus’ sacrifice for us another thought. We never hear Barabbas’ name again. I wonder if he felt the slightest bit of gratitude, whether he ever claimed Christ as his savior, or whether he slipped back into his old way of living.


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