Reading for Friday, Oct 26: Mark 15
The release of Barabbas continues to amaze and confound. Intended as an act of grace — the governing authority benevolently commuting one under penalty of death — the crowd’s cry for Barabbas’ release now stands as the height of injustice. The innocent man suffers while the criminal walks.
But isn’t this the story of all creation? Isn’t this the story of grace? Again, we are meant to identify with Barabbas. We are wholly undeserving of such mercy. Our past transgressions cry out to us across the expanse of history, condemning us for our crimes. This is justice, in the strictest sense of our understanding. But God’s justice is linked to His righteousness, His character, His goodness. And in His righteous goodness, He steps forward to absorb the weight of penalty. He bids us sin no more, for these sins have been absolved and we have been set free. I suppose we might call this unjust…but we have far better words for such a transaction.
This is what we hear as our name is called. Now the crowded streets of heaven cry our name alongside Barabbas and all who would receive this incredible gift of unmerited favor. “He has done this…for you.” And we live in light of this reality.
And, as we know, this makes all the difference for us.