God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 18


[Pilate] went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in Him [Jesus]. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.  (John 18:38b-40)

In Hebrew, the name Barabbas means “son of the father.”  Yet, he was freed from his rightful punishment because the divine Son of the Heavenly Father took his place.

Barabbas deserved death, yet Jesus the innocent Son stepped in on his behalf so that this guilty son could live.

What if Barabbas refused the offer of substitution?  What if he said, “Nope, I’ll take care of my own crimes, thank you, release someone else”?  Then he would have paid the full price for the things he had done. Yet, Barabbas accepted the exchange, and because Jesus took his place, he got to go free.

Jesus offers the same thing to you.

The centerpiece of the Gospel is not that Jesus was a good teacher who lived long ago and had nice things to say.  It is that though He was sinless and innocent, Jesus Christ stepped in to pay the price for your sins and mine. The righteous Son of God substituted Himself for the unrighteous sons and daughters of mankind, and offered freedom to all who would receive it.

This means that no matter what you’ve done, you can be forgiven.  No matter how you’ve failed, you can be free to move forward!

May you trust Him fully as your Savior and surrender to Him completely as your Lord.  When you do, you can rest and walk in freedom both now and forever in the hope of this liberating truth: Jesus is your prisoner exchange.

-Pastor Phillip

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