So I’m sure you’ve probably heard the story in the bible of Jesus’ trial where the crowd was given a choice of who to release: Jesus or Barabbas the criminal. As the story goes, the crowd chants “Give us Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!”
Anytime I’ve heard this story, my first thought is how unjust it was for this crowd to want Jesus dead so badly they were willing to free Barabbas. It’s a fair takeaway. But it’s what I heard from a preacher the other day that has changed the meaning of this story for me.
As unfair as this trial was and knowing the pain he was about to endure, if Jesus was given the choice, Jesus would have chosen Barabbas, too. That’s mercy. None of us are better than Barabbas. None of us will get into heaven based on our own good track record. Only through Christ’s mercy.