Jesus Barabbas or Jesus Christ?

by Roby Ellis          SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

[Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:15-17]


A. The Scriptures are filled with examples of choices men have had to make (Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; 2 Samuel 24:13; 1 Kings 3:5).

B. When Pilate offered the Jews a choice between Barabbas and Jesus, this might seem like an easy call from our perspective, but to a first-century Jew, the right decision was not as easy to make.

I. One lived; the other died.

A. Jesus Barabbas was unjustly acquitted; Jesus Christ was unjustly condemned (Luke 23:17, 40-41, cf. Isaiah 53:3-8).

B. Barabbas lived for himself; Christ died for others (Romans 5:6-9; Hebrews 2:9).

C. Barabbas lived for a while; Jesus lives forever (Romans 6:9-10; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 1:18).

D. Barabbas quickly disappeared from the scene; Jesus made the most profound impact on history (Acts 5:34-39; Philippians 2:9).

II. One sought earthly things; the other sought heavenly things.

A. Barabbas wished to establish an earthly dominion for Israel alone; Jesus sought to establish a heavenly kingdom for people of the entire world (John 18:36; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 12:22-23).

B. Barabbas shed others’ blood; Jesus shed His own blood for others (Matthew 26:28; Mark 15:7; Luke 22:20; John 10:17-18).

C. Jesus Barabbas failed his name; Jesus Christ lived up to it and glorified it (Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10; 9:56; 1 Timothy 1:15).

III. One was man’s choice; the other was God’s choice.

A. Barabbas was typified by the scapegoat; Christ was typified by the sin offering (Leviticus 16:7-10, 21).

B. Barabbas was Israel’s idea of a noble; God declared Christ the King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15).

C. Man desired Barabbas even though he was a murderer; God glorified Jesus even though His own rejected Him (Acts 3:13-14).


A. If you had been in the place of these Jews before Pontius Pilate, who would you have chosen that day?

B. Would you make the same choice when pressure is applied?

C. Will you choose Jesus Barabbas or Jesus Christ?

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