Which Jesus Will You Choose? – by Eliezer Gonzalez
May 10, 2015 1863
The Jewish people were presented with the most extraordinary choice:
Pilate asked them, “Whom would you like me to release to you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?” – Matt 25:17
Many modern translations give the first name of Barabbas as “Jesus.” That would not have been unusual, since Jesus (or Joshua) depending how you want to transliterate it, was a common name in first century Palestine. The name “Jesus” means “savior”.”
So if the manuscripts from which these translations are made are correct, the Jewish people were literally being asked to choose between “Jesus” and another “Jesus”, between one savior and another savior.
The name Barabbas itself means “son of the father.” This is again startling because it was one of the prominent claims that Jesus made about himself – that he was the Son of the Father. It was because of this and related claims that Jesus was now on trial for his life before the Roman Governor Pilate.
So the Jewish people were asked to choose between two saviours and two sons. The questions this gives rise to are:
What kind of saviours are they?
Whose sons are they? i.e. Who is the father of each?
Barabbas sought to save his people through human means – through intelligence and cunning and brute force – ultimately, armed insurgency. He was a terrorist.
Jesus Christ sought to save his people through the Divine means – through the sheer force of love.
Jesus Barabbas was the son of the Devil. And the Jewish people therefore chose him. Well had Jesus said to them only days before,
Your father is the devil. You are his children, and you want to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the beginning. – John 8:44a.
Jesus Christ was the one and only Son of the Living God – the source and giver of eternal life to all.
The Jewish people made the wrong choice that day.
Yet that choice has continued to be made in every generation, in every place, until this very day.
Will you choose your own solution for your live or God’s?
Will you choose Jesus Christ or Jesus Barabbas?
– Eliezer Gonzalez