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A Heart For God: Whatever Became of Barabbas?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whatever Became of Barabbas?

Do you remember the story of Jesus and Barabbas? Barabbas was freed while Jesus was condemned in his place. It's a picture of what Christ has done for us. We each are under the death penalty for our sins. Jesus took our place and paid the price so we could go free.

So where did Barabbas end up after his release? What kind of life did he lead in the days that followed? Have you ever wondered about that? The Bible is silent on what happened to Barabbas. History is also silent. I read in a Bible Encyclopedia that "Nothing is known concerning the subsequent history of Barabbas." And so it's a mystery - the answer to whatever became of Barabbas. Nobody knows. And yet I'd like to offer you a couple of scenarios of what might have happened to him though we don't have evidence for it. It's just my conjecturing, but I think either scenario might be close to the truth.

The first scenario of what became of Barabbas in my mind is he was so struck by the turn of events that had accompanied his release that his attention was captured and he sought for a change in his life. And quite possibly - hopefully - that change he sought included asking God for forgiveness of sins, being born again and then living for the Lord. Could Barabbas have been among the 120 in the Upper Room when the Spirit fell on Pentecost (Acts 2)? He could have been there. Why not if he'd accepted Christ? It's just conjecture, this first scenario of mine. Whether you agree with it or not, this could have been what happened to Barabbas.

And then there's scenario number two: Barabbas went right back to his old life upon being set free. He robbed again. He took part in insurrection-type activities again. And could it be that he even murdered again? Might Barabbas have ended up back in prison, condemned and awaiting execution a second time? This just might very well have been how Barabbas ended up. And after all that God had done for him to bring about his release, I was thinking, this would be a most saddening turn of events indeed.

And certainly I've only been conjecturing about what became of Barabbas here. But by doing so, we've really been afforded what are the two responses that any person can make towards what Christ has done to set him free from sin. #1: A person can respond by surrendering his life to God to follow and obey Him. Or #2: A person can go on living like he's been living - apart from the Lord - apart from freedom - even though Jesus has made it so he can be free. The choice is each of ours to make.

How will we go on living when we realize that Jesus has secured our release?

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