“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Driving past a Christian church I saw a poster that stood out to me. It read: “I am Barabbas.” As I drove my car back home, the words of this poster echoed in my mind. It was as if I could hear the multitude yelling: “Release Barabbas and crucify Jesus!” Suddenly, as I kept hearing those words, I realized that I was that criminal. Just like Barabbas was a sinful man, guilty of crimes and transgressions, I also was guilty. And even though it is not in the same way as Barabbas, I also deserved to be condemned for my sins, just as he deserved to be condemned.
Immediately the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the crucifixion and I remembered the day of my conversion. I realized that it should have been me on that cross. He was innocent and yet He was being condemned for my transgressions. I began to see that in every wound caused by the flogging, He was carrying all of the infirmities and sorrows that surround me. With every punch, He was being afflicted for my sins and rebellions. There, on that cross, full of anguish He was paying my debt so that I could have peace. There in Golgotha, He was paying for my redemption.
In my analogy, it became clear to me that Barabbas became free thanks to those that hated Jesus, whereas I was made free because of His love. It was because of His great love that He took my place, just as the famous hymn says: “He chose to bear the nails on His hands that should have been placed on mine.”
Meditating on this, I realized that on certain occasions, we do not understand that with our complaining, our doubt, our disobedience, and our rebellion, we demonstrate ungratefulness towards the great sacrifice of Christ. We celebrate Easter in a very methodical and traditional way without valuing the rich and powerful reason for the celebration. Through His sacrifice, Christ redeemed us. He redeemed us from sin, sickness, and from eternal death. Through His death, he rescued us from a world full of grief, a kingdom dominated by Satan, and from a death sentence that condemned us to hell.
It is time to fix our gaze upon Jesus, the author of our salvation. We should meditate on the enormous suffering that He endured on the cross for us. We should pay attention to all the things that He suffered for us on the cross so that we would not have to suffer them.
Therefore brothers and sisters, let us love, adore, and thank Him who is worthy to receive all honor and praise now and forevermore. Amen!