Biblical accounts following Jesus’ crucifixion reveal many mysteries. All of which points to God’s love for man and the price Jesus paid to save the world from sin and death. In today’s post, we will learn about one of such mysteries that occurred when Jesus was taken to Pilate prior to His death. Let’s read from John 18:38-40
Pilate said to Him [scornfully], “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no guilt in Him [no crime, no cause for an accusation]. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. So, shall I release for you the King of the Jews?” Then they all shouted back again, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
In the text above, we notice that Barabbas was chosen over Jesus. The choice for Barabbas over Jesus appeared physical to the Jewish leaders and crowds who thought they were bringing the reign of a heretic teacher and false prophet to an end. That, right there was a disguise – ‘divine exchange’- where the innocent takes the place of the guilty. Barabbas was the guilty party who represented the whole of humanity and Jesus is the innocent party. This is what happens with each of us when we believe and accept Jesus as our Saviour.
What is Exchange?
The act of giving one thing and receiving another (usually of the same kind) of greater value.
What is the Divine Exchange?
An exchange where God (in person) takes the place of man and bears his inequities. This is mysterious and beats the wisdom of man. Even the devil in all his wisdom did not see it coming. This is because the exchange was both physical and spiritual. Today, the spiritual significance of this exchange has reached you and I. We thank God for giving us His son. Now, let’s look at the state of Jesus and Barabbas in this divine exchange.
Barabbas’s State (in exchange)
In our main text, Barabbas was the exact representation of a sinner. One who was guilty, convicted and could not save himself. On the contrary, Jesus was without sin, falsely accused and most importantly had the authority to save Himself but He laid down His life in exchange for such and any sinner as Barabbas. Paul puts it better when he says:
He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].
By this, man’s sinful nature was divinely exchanged for the righteousness of God. So on that fateful day, when Jesus was nailed on the cross a divine transformation was manifest and the old Barabbas (sinner) who was arrested as a criminal was made righteous in God’s sight. Jesus also blotted out all ordinances or charges of sin brought against Barabbas.
He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
When you cast your mind back to what you did some time ago and how you were in complete defeat and guilt but now you do not even feel the guilt anymore and you are free in your conscience to serve God. It is only Jesus who can set us free.
So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.
In Christ Jesus, our sin, guilt, curse, charges and condemnation have been exchanged for the freedom, peace and righteousness of God. We have been translated from sin and sin’s bondage into the light of God where we now live to please God. The benefits of this divine exchange are available to all who believe and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Have a wonderful week and walk in the power and freedom Christ wrought for you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
God bless you.