We all know the accounting of the trial of Jesus (Yeshua), and how Pilate offered the mob a choice: kill Jesus, the king of the Jews or kill the condemned murderer, Barabbas? The mob (which was actually controlled by the few, politically powerful men who wanted Yeshua out of their hair) screamed to kill Yeshua. So the murderer Barabbas, a sinful man who was rebellious to the authorities above him, was released and saved from the death he deserved, and Yeshua, an innocent man who wanted nothing more than to properly interpret the Torah and lead people closer to God, was savagely tortured, nailed to a tree and left hanging until He suffocated to death.
FYI: when crucified, if shock from being nailed to a tree didn’t immediately kill you, death came slowly and tortuously because your body would begin to slump, and with your arms above your chest eventually you would have your airway blocked and you then suffocated.
In some circles, it is believed that Barabbas’ full name was Yeshua Barabbas, which when translated means “salvation, the son of the father.” Now, isn’t that interesting? So the “son of the father” was freed from sin and death by the sacrifice of “the Son of the Father!” Which, consequently, allowed all people to be saved from the consequences of their sinfulness.
This information may not be new to many of you, but I confess I never really thought about it until recently. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Pilate misunderstood the mob? What I mean is, maybe they were really calling for Barabbas to die and to release Yeshua, but since they both had pretty much the same name, Pilate got it wrong? That would mean, if Pilate did crucify the wrong man, that what most of Christianity has taught for 2000 years, specifically that the Jews killed Jesus, would be false! The right man was crucified, from the standpoint of God’s plan of salvation, but maybe the Jews have been given a bum rap all these years? Maybe we didn’t kill Jesus? Maybe we really wanted to accept Him as Messiah and it was that Roman doofus, Governor Pilate, who didn’t know the difference between Yeshua bar Yosef and Yeshua bar Abbas, that deserves the blame?
For the record: Jews didn’t kill Jesus, and neither did the Romans, it was sin that was the real cause of Jesus having to die.
Well, well…this is an interesting thought, but it isn’t what happened. The mob cried for the Messiah to die; Pilate knew the difference between the murderer Barabbas and the king of the Jews; the right man was crucified and the sins of all men (and women) were nailed to that tree with Him. Not the law, not the Torah, not the commandments, but the consequence of our sin of rejecting those things is what died with Yeshua.
You see, once the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, there was no place for people to perform the guilt or sin sacrifice, which meant to the Jews that rejected Yeshua they would have no way to atone, thereby able to avoid dying in their sin. Just think for a second how terrible a realization that must have been to them! Yeshua’s sacrifice replaced the need to bring your sacrifice to the Temple, which is how we avoid the consequences of our sin when we repent and ask forgiveness through His name.
Please note that repentance (T’Shuvah) is mandatory for forgiveness- just confessing that you sinned and asking forgiveness, when you really aren’t sorry, really don’t care and don’t have any plans to stop sinning, is not going to get the job done.
The fact that both Yeshua and Barabbas had pretty much the same name (when translated) is an interesting point: it’s not earth shattering, it’s nothing that will affect your salvation, nothing that will turn heads and make people say, “WOW!!”….it’s just an interesting point. The Messiah and a rebellious murderer had the same name, the same fate and the same judge, but the innocent died and the guilty was freed. Now, what makes it more interesting (to me) than anything else is not the coincidence, but the similarity to me: I was the guilty, rebellious murderer (of myself) and Yeshua was innocent, but through His death I was set free.
And it can be the same with you: if you are reading this and haven’t accepted Yeshua as your Messiah, who will expiate your sins and provide the justification you need for redemption, then maybe you have been crucifying the wrong person?