Thursday, April 5, 2007

The footnote to history

What about the guy who
DIDN'T die
on Good [insert preferred day here]?

Hebrew custom establishes the idea that Jewish parents name their children based on certain characteristics. Barabbas means “son of the fathers”; that is, “Bar” means son and “abbas” means fathers. Growing up, I bet Barabbas thought he was something special. He was the hope of Jewish history (son of the fathers). His name suggests that the Jewish nation had a lot riding on his shoulders (son of the fathers). Barabbas was the product of the long line of Jewish wise men and sages (son of the fathers). He embodied and represented them....

Let’s contemplate the story as it unfolds from the viewpoint of Barabbas. He was locked up about a half mile from where Jesus was at. From where he was located, Barabbas could hear the words of the crowd as they shout their responses in unison....

Imagine what the other prisoners thought or said to their “champion” as they heard the sentence. No doubt a reverent, dreadful silence fell over the place. I imagine that there was a long wait. And then, they heard the footsteps and the keys clinging in the distance- getting closer and louder. They heard the guards returning for Barabbas. For all intents and purposes, they all, including Barabbas, thought Barabbas was going to be summarily executed. But, something happens when the doors are opened to his cell, and the instruments of death tell him that he was free to go. Imagine the fear- yet excitement he felt as the chains and the instruments of his captivity and imprisonment were removed.

Sheeju then says the following.

Then, imagine the solemnity that gripped him when he was told or came to realize that Jesus took his place!

I don't know if that's truly the way Barabbas felt. Yet it's interesting to note that this famous "son of the fathers" has become but a footnote in history.


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