On Palm Sunday, we get to play a role in the Passion narrative. Pontius Pilate gives us the choice: Jesus or Barabbas? We choose Barabbas every time, and when asked what should happen to Jesus, we chant, “Crucify him!” It is our sinfulness that put Him up on that cross. Yet, even though we play part of the crowd on Palm Sunday, the person who best represents us is Barabbas.
Barabbas, who was actually a criminal, was spared when the crowd chose to have Jesus crucified instead of him. Jesus literally died in place of Barabbas. The price of sin is death, which is what we all deserve, yet Jesus died in our place—a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim. We still die a physical death, but He saved us from spiritual death. Like Barabbas, we deserve that cross.
What’s even crazier though is that on Good Friday, the crowd was given a choice between the Son of God and a man who’s name translates to Son of the Father (Barabbas). This week—this Holy Week—let’s not be deceived. When given the choice, let’s choose the Son of God, Jesus, who died in our place… because, like Barabbas, we are all sons (and daughters) of the Father.