Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Luke 23:34

 In an age where trends and fads can often rule, we may feel the need to “change it up” from time to time when it comes to the Gospel, thus complicating it. But, keeping it simple is imperative when it comes to the Good News and nothing is simpler than the Good News summed up in the story of Barabbas.

As the religious leaders of Israel demanded that Barabbas be released, and Jesus be sentenced to death, they were, in fact, demonstrating, through that one act, exactly what Jesus came to earth to do. His main purpose was simply to be the “Once and for all sacrifice” for all mankind, so that all who were guilty and deserving of death could be set free. Barabbas was the simple picture and representation of you and me; his life was spared as Jesus gave His up. Like 23:25 says, “As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.”

The simplicity of the Gospel was seen in that very moment as Barabbas received mercy and grace he did not deserve, all through the sacrifice of another, Jesus. The Gospel never needs to be complicated and should always remain so simple that even a child can understand. There was nothing that Barabbas did or could have done that day to deserve being released from his sentence of death and given his full freedom and complete pardon. Such is the case with you and me.  But thank God that because God’s mercy and grace, all who receive Jesus are spared from the sentence of death and given eternal life.

Today embrace the Gospel in its simplicity and receive all that Jesus came to give.

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