This post is part of a series that will take us up to the Easter holiday that celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord.
Mark 15:1–20 (ESV) – 1 And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
The guilty was set free while the innocent one was punished. This is what we find in today’s reading. Jesus, the man who had done no wrong, was condemned to crucifixion while Barabbas, a man who was a murderer, was set free. How could such a thing happen? It seems so unfair!
When we read these words and reflect on the circumstances, let us not fail to see that this is a picture of what Jesus Christ does for every single sinner who believes. He takes our place and receives the punishment that we rightly deserve while we go free. The innocent and righteous takes the place of the guilty sinner. It is not fair. It is grace and it is offered to all who would call out to God to save them.
Lord, thank you for taking my place and taking my punishment so that I could go free. Amen.
**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading.
Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.