Good Friday: What Evil Has Jesus Done?

Herod had just sent Jesus back to Pilate. As Jesus stood before Pilate for a second time, Pilate addressed the chief priests, the rulers and the people. He explains to them that upon examination neither he nor Herod found Jesus guilty of the charges against him. Therefore, Pilate was only going to beat Jesus and release him, but that was not good enough.

But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”—a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)1

Much like today, the people then do not want Jesus’ gospel nor his ideas. They would rather be entertained by and embrace a world of spiritual rebellion and murder. We are Barabbas and don’t even realize it.

Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” (Luke 23:20-22)

There was no answer to the question of what evil Jesus had done because he had not committed any evil. After the third appeal Pilate was reading to release Jesus again. It is so comforting that Jesus make more than three appeals to follow him. Three was not enough for the crowd before Pilate.

But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. (Luke 23:23-24)

Just like the crowd, so many of us today want nothing to do with the sinless Savior. We want our own wills to prevail in all areas of life. We want to live the sinful life of Barabbas, then be set free. But if you understand what Jesus did with the sins of sinners like you and I you find something amazing.

He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. (Luke 23:25)

Jesus takes the place of Barabbas. He takes the punishment for Barabbas’ sins setting Barabbas free. Once we realize we are all Barabbas, we understand that Jesus will set us free if we believe his gospel.

Yes, this was a good Friday.

Mark

 

  1. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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