Posted on Mar 27, 2021

28 March 2021

I was very young, a child, when I learned that the crowd’s choice of Barabbas over Jesus

was a symbol of our fickleness, our inability to love long and well.

And in my child’s mind I remember pledging that I would not be this way–

I think every child probably does that.  Every child’s heart goes out to this innocent man and promises with Peter:  “Even if I have to die, I will not desert you.”

I wanted to see myself that way, and believe it could be that way.

It was a childish pledge,

a promise that didn’t know the harsh realities of growing up,

and growing old–what that does to us,

and how we all lose innocence and

the certainty about what we will and what we will not do;

How the borders of our moral choices become fuzzy.

It is a harsh mirror this vignette about Barabbas and Jesus.

In that choice, we see our own choices, choices we make every day.

But the importance of the Barabbas story,

is not that it illustrates our inability to love long and well.

It is not that it illustrates our penchant to choose whomever or whatever

gets us what we think we want, gets us the most;

The importance of the story is not that Pilate accedes to the crowds wishes

and releases Barabbas,

We all know that we are responsible for our choices.

The importance of this story is that Jesus who is called, Christ,

who in the end didn’t have a friend to help him carry his cross,

goes to Golgotha and Barabbas goes free.

The importance of this story is that we live with the consequences of our choices, and so does God…who believes that sooner or later we will keep our childhood pledges…and if we don’t, will come back from the grave for us.