And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas. (Luke 23:18)
What happened to Barabbas is a picture of what happens when we are born again. Barabbas was guilty; Jesus was innocent. Jesus suffered the death that Barabbas deserved, and Barabbas went free. Likewise, we were guilty (Rom. 3:23) and condemned to death (Rom. 6:23), yet Jesus suffered our punishment so that we could go free (2 Cor. 5:21). Just as Barabbas didn’t ask for this substitution, so “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
Jesus’ death set Barabbas free, but he had to choose whether to accept this new freedom or to continue in his old selfish ways and come under the judgment of Rome again. In the same way, we have all been freed through the substitutionary death of Jesus, but we have to choose whether to accept our freedom by putting our faith in Him and surrendering our lives to Him.
As Christians, we need to develop a continual awareness that our lives are not our own. We do not have the liberty to do as we please; we have the liberty to love, serve, and worship God through Jesus Christ our Lord. We should present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God, recognizing that this is just our reasonable duty to the one who gave His life for us (Rom. 12:1).
The lordship of Jesus should be the determining factor in every action of your life today (Rom. 14:7-10). Every thought, word, and deed should pass the test, “Is this what Jesus wants?” This is the key to having a great day!