barabbas-2Read Matthew 27:21

Today is often called Easter Vigil. Jesus’ body, this day in history, lies dead in a borrowed tomb. Vigil means watchfully waiting. Someone who wasn’t waiting today was Barabbas. He was the thief and murderer who was released instead of Jesus. Jesus died in his place. Whether he took this into his heart for salvation is unknown, or, at least, uncertain. Some would say it is unlikely. What was his full name? Many believe it was Jesus Barabbas, which means, “Jesus, son of the father.” Wow! Isn’t that something? According to an article I read in Christian History magazine (Issue No. 60) years ago, he may have been considered by some in his time as a good leader. His methods were extreme and devilish, but times seemed to demand this kind of approach. This is where Jesus had let so many down, and still does. What a weak king he appeared to be today! He was now a dead king, and one whose death had lacked all dignity. His body, his reputation, his message, the loyalty and commitment of his followers, and his claims to be both king and (amazingly) God, were now all buried with him. Gone. Shut away. But Barabbas was still with us. Strapping and bold, he must have felt on this Saturday like he might be made king himself. The people had demanded his freedom! He won the crowd over some beloved rabbi. This had to be pretty heady stuff for this recently condemned insurrectionist. Today had to be a day filled with new worldly possibilities for Barabbas. His poll numbers had risen sharply, or so he may have thought. He is remembered to this day. Movies are made about him. If anyone was ever given a second chance by God, it is this man. Did he cherish it or waste it? What about you? If you are a believer, in one way or another, you play the part of Barabbas in your own life. Jesus takes your place on the cross and in the tomb. What are you going to do about it? Tomorrow is coming. A new day will arrive. Everything will change because of an empty tomb. Will you? Will I?

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