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Barabbas – Lent Day 38

Wednesday, March 28


Sarah Carlson

Day 38—Read Luke 23


They take me to the courtyard to stand in front of the people.

I know my sentence, it’s fair to say it’s equal to my crimes:

Blood for blood.

Why wouldn’t it be?

Let me be ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.

“Let him free!”


“Let him free!”

It didn’t make sense at all.

“Let Barabbas go! Here, let the Son of Man fall!”

I glanced at a bloodied figure that was stooped over.

This supposed Savior couldn’t get any lower if He tried.

(Barabbas, Nathan Burton)


It should’ve been Barabbas on that cross. A murderer, a criminal, the scum of the earth, and he got to walk free. He got to pin my Savior to a tree. If I’m honest, I am angry with Barabbas. He didn’t deserve Jesus. He never even knew the man but for the few moments when they switched places. But who knows? Maybe that was enough.

It should’ve been Larry Nassar, Ted Bundy, or Judas Iscariot on that cross. Abusers, murderers, traitors, and He took their sin. There were so many (and there will be so many more) better candidates for crucifixion than my Jesus. People who had earned, who deserved it. Yet He was the one who suffered in their place. It is hard not to think that it was foolish of Him to trade His life for such ingrates. It is hard not to judge them as the ones who drove the nails into His hands.

In truth, it should’ve been me on that cross. A sinner, broken and fallen, the scum of the earth, and I got to walk free. I pinned my Savior on that tree. I am not innocent, and that is precisely why it couldn’t be me, or Nassar, or Bundy, or even Barabbas, because if it had been any of us, we wouldn’t have a second chance, and Heaven knows, we need one.

Barabbas means “son of the father,” and he was. Barabbas was a precious child of God, with no lesser right to forgiveness than me.

Think of the Barabbases in your life, the people you think of as “too far gone.” Pray for them. Extend grace to them. They are God’s, too.

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