He Took My Place

I’ve been thinking a lot about Barabbas. He was a criminal, tried and true. He was in prison waiting to be executed for his crime. But he was released.

I find myself putting my name in place of his. I am a sinner, tried and true. Even though I have never been convicted of a crime or even had a speeding ticket, I am still guilty. Guilty of what? Guilty of breaking God’s law. The Ten Commandments are there to show us right from wrong.

Let’s pick one: Thou shalt not lie. I love the Old King James, it makes it sound so much more important. But, we have all lied, even if it was only a little white lie. A lie is a lie.

Thou shalt not steal. Most of us at one time or another, to some degree, have taken something that doesn’t belong to us. Guilty. Thou shalt not murder. OK! I can safely say that I have never killed anyone. But, the Bible says that if you hate someone in your heart than you are a murderer (1 John 3:15). Ouch! Guilty. Three for three.

But just like in the story of Barabbas, Jesus took my place. He took upon Himself the sins that I have committed, the lustful thoughts, the thoughts of hate, the wrong things I have done. The Bible says that He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I was deserving of death, for the payment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). But Jesus, the only one who had no sins of His own to pay for, took mine and yours upon Himself to pay the price that you and I could not pay.

Why? So that we could spend eternity with Him. Sin keeps us away from God. God is so perfectly holy that it is against His very nature to dwell with darkness. That is why Jesus came.

I cannot read the story of the cross without tears, knowing that it was for me that He was crucified. Now I walk in freedom from sin because of it. I put myself in Barabbas’ shoes and can only imagine how he felt to know that an innocent man was killed in his stead.

Let us remember the cross as we live our lives. Remember what He has done, so that we live a little differently. The best part of the story is not just that He died for us, but that He rose again. Death could not hold the Prince of Life. The Spirit of God raised Him from the dead and He lives to give us freedom over the things that would hold in bondage.