Now Barabbas was a Robber!” John 18:39-40
Scripture says Barabbas was guilty of three crimes. Theft. Insurrection. Murder. John 18:40 describes Barabbas as a robber.
That is the same word used to speak of the robbers who were crucified with [Christ]. The timing of imprisonment and the use of the term robber suggests that these men were confederates of Barabbas. Barabbas is the only one named, the most notorious and infamous and undoubtedly the leader.
It wasn’t petty thievery, though—and this explains why these men were condemned to crucifixion. According to Mark 15:7, this was a band of violent rebels—anti-Roman seditionists, most likely members of an extremist Jewish political party known as the Zealots. They began riots and promoted insurrection against the rule of Rome. Part of the notoriety of Barabbas lay in the fact that he had committed a wanton act of murder (or possibly even multiple murders) in one of these violent uprisings. Luke 23:19 affirms this, saying that Barabbas had been imprisoned “for an insurrection started in the city and for murder.”
Question of the week: Is it true that Barabbas full name is Jesus Barabbas?
Answer: Ironically it does seem to be true that Jesus Barabbas is his full name. Barabbas’s name appears as bar-Abbas in the Greek texts of the Gospels. It is derived from the Aramaic Bar-abbâ, “son of the father”. Some ancient manuscripts of Matthew 27:16–17 have the full name of Barabbas as “Jesus Barabbas” and this was is believed the name as originally written in the text.
Rejoice In His Light
Sunday is the fifth Sunday of Lent. Lent is a special time of the year to remember that Christ came as a servant to live and die for us. Lent is a time of repentance and prayerful anticipation of Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning. The panels are now purple, symbolizing mourning and remembrance of how Christ suffered for us. Christians, for centuries, have used color in divine worship to emphasize the redemptive action of God through his Son. Color, like music, plays an important role in the life of God’s worshiping people. Just as music is the “handmaiden to theology,” liturgical color complements the message of the seasons and occasions during the church year. Liturgical colors aid in addressing a specific “colorful” chapter in the life of our Lord and his church, retold annually by the church calendar. The primary role of color in divine worship is it allows us to see the Light of Life, Jesus Christ.