The FIRST Substitution of the Cross
Do you see where Luke is taking us? Luke has stressed so deeply the innocence of Jesus and the guilt of Barabbas, leading us sinners to identify in a significant way with Barabbas.
· This story is leading to its climax- The cross
o but right here, in this passage, the story seems to slow down and uncover a beautiful truth.
· The Bible tells us Jesus’ condemnation and subsequent death on the cross leads to the release of a multitude of spiritual captives from every tribe, tongue, and nation. (Revelation 7:9-12)
o But here, in this passage, Jesus’ death sentence leads to the release of a PHYSICAL captive- Barabbas.
o Here we see a foretaste of the grace that will be unleashed by the cross.
· Jesus is manifestly innocent
· Barabbas is CLEARLY guilty
o Just as we also are clearly guilty before God
o Rebels deserving death
§ Romans 3:10-19
§ James 2:10
§ Romans 3:23
§ Romans 6:23
· So as Pilate releases Barabbas, the guilty, and delivers Jesus’ the innocent, over to death:
o We have a clear picture of our own release effected by the cross.
§ Barabbas gives us a glimpse into ourselves, and of our stance before the God of the universe--- GUILTY AS CHARGED
Barabbas also gives us a preview of the arresting grace of Jesus, and His loving embrace of the cross, through which we are set free!