“Barabbas. Barabbas!” From his small dark prison cell, Barabbas surely heard the shouts of his name, followed by even louder cries of, “Let him be crucified!” I wonder if he was trembling or stoic with the realization that his life is surely about to come to an excruciating end. Just punishment for his many crimes.
Instead, the notorious murder goes free, while the innocent Jesus is condemned. The cross meant for Barabbas hailed on the raw, bloody, exposed shoulders of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t resist or fight back. In fact, He joins the chorus saying, “Joani. Joani! [your name]. [your name]!” You see, He isn’t just taking the place of Barabbas on the cross, he is also taking it for you and me. He humbly, powerfully, and willingly takes the punishment we deserve.
Everything happens as the prophets foretold; as Jesus told his disciples it would. He is mocked, scourged, spit on, lots cast for his clothes, taken to the hill to die on a cross. An intended humiliating public display for all to see.
Three hours of unusual darkness covers the land during the middle of the day. The heavens declaring the weight of this moment.
On the cross, Jesus takes all our sins upon Him, securing them forever between the splintered wood and His bloody hands.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus cries out. He is quoting Psalm 22, something that would be familiar to the Jewish onlookers.
A holy God must turn His face from all the sin. This moment is what Jesus dreaded in the Garden…not so much a painful death, but a momentary separation from His Father. And not only a separation but assuming the full wrath of God for our sins.
Once again Jesus cries out with a loud voice and yields up His spirit. No one could take it from Him. He willingly, purposefully, and obediently gives it up.
“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus not only takes the punishment for our sins, He also give us His righteousness. A holy, spiritual transaction.
Simultaneously the following occurs:
As hard as it is to read or comprehend, may I never lose the significance or awe of the details surrounding the death of Jesus. The fulfillment and culmination of God’s sovereign plan from the beginning of time.
Surely this IS the Son of God. My Savior and Lord
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