Have you had a chance to see this beautiful clip of the last few days of Jesus Christ's life? It is well worth the 7 minutes and 36 seconds. :)
Squire spoke in sacrament meeting, and I taught the lesson in young women today. So this week has been a great preparation for the true meaning of Easter (or Passover as it is best translated in the Judeo-Christian tradition.) In my studies, there was a thought that kept coming back to me that I thought I should take the time to blog about today on this sacred holiday.
As I have read about and seen portrayals of the last few days of Christ's life on Earth, I have always been particularly upset by one aspect of the story. According to Jewish law, one prisoner could be set free each year. Pilate allowed the Jews the option to free Jesus or Barabbas. Barabbas was an insurrectionist, a robber and a murderer. Rather than save the beautiful perfect Son of God who had healed, prayed for, and loved the people - they chose the deeply imperfect, rebellious sinner, Barabbas, to be set free instead. The injustice and irony had always struck a chord with me - why Christ? Why not Barabbas? He's the one who really deserved a scourging and crucifying. Not Christ. It was always frustrating and uncomfortable and heart-wrenching to me. But as I have pondered and studied that aspect of the story, I have come to understand something I didn't understand before:
I am Barabbas.
You are Barabbas.
We all are Barabbas.
Ironically (or not so ironically), Barabbas means, "Son of the Father." Two sons of the father stood before the crowd. One to be crucified, the other set free. Christ was the literal Son of God. We are not literal sons and daughters of God, but we are His spirit children. That title, "Son (Daughter) of the Father" can still apply to us. I am not an insurrectionist, but I have often wished to overthrow a government leader or two. ;) I think I stole and had to return a piece of candy from Wal-mart once when I was a little girl. And I am no murderer, but I have told a couple of lies, I have had less-than-kind thoughts. I have been harsh and mean at times. I have been lazy, and inconsiderate. I have chosen the worse part on more than one, or two, or a thousand occasions. I like everyone else, am a sinner. And the craziest part? In a completely unjust turn of events - in order to save my sinful soul and yours, Christ was the one who suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ was the one who endured the scourging and crucifying on the cross. We - Barabbas - have been set free, only on the condition of the sacrifice of the perfect man, our Savior, Jesus Christ. When I think of Barabbas as myself, I am humbled and full of gratitude rather than irritation or a sense of injustice. It is breath-taking, and humbling, and incredible to realize that Christ died, and rose again - for me. For you. Isn't it?
I hope you all had a beautiful Easter sabbath. How grateful I am for my beautiful Savior, without whom, we would all be forever captive.