We have spent the last few days focusing on the story of the Cross, and the immense sacrifice made
for us there.
We cannot but help consider the enormity of that cost in very personal terms – how God sent his
Son to save me, what I must do to receive the blessing and all rightly so. But one lady has taken time
to think about how someone else might have been feeling and perceiving the events that unfolded
at Calvary, and whilst doing that has actually again so clearly illustrated how it was a sacrifice for me
and you. Barabbas was guilty as charged, and we can so easily identify with him as sinners, unworthy
of the grace unleashed at the Cross. But the hope of the Cross is that we identify with both Barabbas
and Jesus – that we recognise our guilt as we strive to be more like Christ.

BARABBAS

WHERE DID BARABBAS SPEND THE AFTERNOON OF THE FIRST GOOD
FRIDAY?
AT HOME?
WITH FRIENDS?
FLEEING THE COUNTRY?
OR DID HE PERHAPS GO TO CALVARY?
DID HE WATCH AS THE MAN WHO HUNG THERE TOOK HIS PLACE?
WAS HE THERE AMONG THE CROWD AS THE GALILEAN WAS CRUCIFIED
INSTEAD OF HIM?
THIS ONE WHOM EVERYONE KNEW DID NOT DESERVE A PUNISHMENT,
BUT WHO, AT THE LAST MOMENT, HAD BEEN SUBSTITUTED FOR HIM.
WAS BARABBAS THERE, AT CALVARY?
AND IF HE WAS, WHAT DID HE THINK?
COULD HE ALMOST FEEL THE NAILS WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE
BEEN DRIVEN THROUGH HIS HANDS AND FEET?
DID HE WANT TO FETCH THE DRINK WHICH THIS DYING STRANGER
REQUESTED?
COULD HE BEAR TO LISTEN AS THE CRIES OF ANGUISH REACHED HIS
EARS?
DID HE FEEL GUILTY THAT THIS MAN WAS IN THE HANDS OF THE
SOLDIERS, WHILE HE KNEW THE RELIEF OF BEING SET FREE?
OR DID HE GO TO MOCK?
DID HE SNEER WITH CONTEMPT AT THE HAPLESS ONE WHO HAD GOT
INTO THIS EVIL TANGLE?

DID HE LAUGH THAT ANOTHER WAS SUFFERING WHILE HE GOT OFF SCOT-
FREE?

WAS HE QUITE UNMOVED BY THE SCENE OF AN INNOCENT MAN BEING
CRUCIFIED?
LORD, YOU ALONE KNOW WHERE BARABBAS STOOD THAT DAY.
YOU KNOW IF HE EVER THANKED YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID IN HIS PLACE.
YOU KNOW IF HE HEARD YOU SAY β€œIT IS FINISHED!” AND REALISED IT
WAS A VOLUNTARY ACT THAT TOOK YOU TO THE CROSS.
AND YOU ALONE KNOW IF HE JOINED YOU ONE DAY IN PARADISE.
ALL WE KNOW IS THAT ANY ONE OF US MIGHT HAVE BEEN HIM THAT DAY.
BARABBAS, THE GUILTY ONE,
AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS,
WATCHING.

(BASED ON LUKE 23 V 13-25)

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