Subscribe to receive weekly emails of the Reasons for Hope blog.

* indicates required

Dead Man Walking?--It's Your Choice

In this special Easter-themed blog, Frank Figueroa reminds us that "Jesus was truly innocent, but He took the place of another on the cross! Yes, Barabbas went free, but the grace he received is merely an illustration of a greater, far more personal truth . . .  you and I deserved to die on that middle cross. Instead, Jesus, the Lamb of God, died for us so that God could set us free from the penalty of our sin.
The Easter Season is upon us, and I have been thinking about what Jesus’ efficacious death and resurrection mean to us as believers. Not just pieces of evidence or truth claims and how that validates Christianity, but also what it means to us as recipients of undeserved forgiveness.
Let’s begin by reading a passage in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 27, verses 15–25,
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.

And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.

Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.

While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.

The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”

Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”

Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
As Pilate was about to carry out what he thought was going to be a “slap on the wrist” for Jesus by giving Him some moderate punishment and then setting Him free, another thought dawned on him . . . Since it was customary for the Governor to grant amnesty to a prisoner once a year during the Passover season to generate goodwill between Rome and its subjects, why not do this now and just release Jesus? This would have been a well-reasoned way out of his predicament in this situation since he didn’t honestly think Jesus was deserving of the punishment the Jews wanted him to dole out. (Pilate’s wife even told him that he should stay out of this entire ordeal.)
Pilate knew that Jesus was popular with most of the people. So, wanting to be the hero, he gave the people a choice, here and now, of who they wanted to release using this “amnesty program.” He attempted to make the decision a “no-brainer”: The people could have Barabbas, a notorious insurrectionist and murderer, or they could have Jesus. Any reasonable person with half a mind would have chosen Jesus because Barabbas was already on his way to being executed for his heinous crimes.
Something deeper was definitely going on below the surface as well. The name “Barabbas” means “son of a human father.” Jesus was the Son of our Heavenly Father. So, for these people, it came down to choosing the Son of God or the son of a man―to say that the crowd chose poorly would be the understatement of eternity!
How quickly we forget as people: Just the week before, they threw palm branches at Jesus’ feet and hailed Him as king. Now, they want nothing to do with God’s way and are vehemently choosing the way of man!
Decades ago, Chuck Swindoll preached a message that should force your perspective to experience this scene in a much more personal way . . .
Imagine if you or I were Barabbas. We are sitting in a dark cell waiting to be executed . . . Fear and agony setting in as our time to connect with the cross gets closer with each passing second. Maybe we could even hear the sounds of the riot erupting outside. We hear the crowd chanting, “Barabbas! Barabbas! The man Barabbas!” A moment later, the mob yells out with a unanimous voice, “Crucify him! Crucify him! His blood be on us and our children!”

Our blood starts to run cold. We sink lower into our dank cell awaiting the door to open and then to be led down “the last mile.” Within minutes that seem like an eternity, we hear the sound of soldiers coming down the corridor towards us. The guard’s keys start to jangle, and the door slowly opens for what may have been the first time in many, many days. We are then told, “Get up! It’s time for you to go!” As we make our way up to street level, we are blinded by the light coming from outside, as we have not seen the light of day for a very long time. We continue to ascend until we are led out of the main gate to the dungeon. We hear the gate slam shut behind us and just stand there for a moment, trying to gather our bearings and prepare for what is destined to come next.

But after a few moments, we realize we don’t have the guards leading us anywhere. We then rub our eyes to be able to see only to notice that we are standing outside, completely unshackled, and with no one around to execute the death sentence that had been pronounced on us . . . In short, we are free! After spending an unmeasurable amount of time in a cell barely big enough to contain us, we find ourselves in a vast world no longer held by all the things that once restricted us.
But now, spiritually speaking, this is no longer inference . . . Read what the Bible has boldly declared:

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Romans 5:6–10
For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

You see, you and I are guilty of sin . . . every single one of us! We have behaved in ways that dishonor our Maker. We have broken the commandments of the King, and our wrongdoing demands a penalty―that penalty is eternal separation from God in a place of torment! This is pure justice, and it absolutely cannot be set aside!
However, our Judge in Heaven has delayed the gavel long enough to share this simple truth:

John 3:16–17
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jesus was truly innocent, but He took the place of another on the cross! Yes, Barabbas went free, but the grace he received is merely an illustration of a greater, far more personal truth . . . It was you and I who should have died on that middle cross. Instead, Jesus, the Lamb of God, died for us so that God could set us free from the penalty of our sin.
I want to conclude by asking you a serious question that we all are faced with: Are you, like Barabbas, a “dead man walking,” or have you gained access to new life by receiving the pardon Jesus offers and accepting Him as your Savior and Lord? The choice is yours.
To learn more about Frank Figueroa or to book him as a speaker at your upcoming events, please click HERE.

Hot Off the Presses!

Our newest publication is actually one of our bestsellers repackaged—You asked. We listened. With a new title and look, we're excited to re-release the answers to 28 tough questions teens are asking. They need the answers; you can help them find them. Buy Glad You Asked, Volume 1 today by clicking HERE. Start the process of learning with them.

Download Our FREE App!

Click HERE to download our free app and encourage your family and friends to do the same. This resource provides hundreds of audio, visual, and print resources to answer questions and train you and your loved ones to be able to answer anyone who may ask you to share why you believe what you believe (1 Peter 3:15).

No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 15:45 1 Corinthians 15:57 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 2:15 1 John 2:2 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 John 4:7-8 1 Peter 1:23 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:18 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 1 corinthians 10:13 100 miles 100% human 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 12:9 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 2 Corinthians 1:3 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 5:21 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Samuel 6:17 2 Thessalonians 3:3 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:25 2 Timothy 2:7 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race AI Abraham sacrificing Isaac Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 17:22-34 Acts 17 Acts 1:8 Acts 27:35 Acts 5:38-39 Acts 9 Albert Einstein All great men were born in February. Alyssa Glander America waited too long. Apostle Peter Asbury Barabbas Barna poll Barnabas Baruch Bulla Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bethlehem Bible reading Bible Biblical archaeology Bob Gillespie Brian Miller C.S. Lewis CRT Camp Sigel Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Cell phones Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian Camps Christian witness Christian worldview Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 2:8 Colossians 3:17-23 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic Creation Creator God D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Daniel 12:4 Daniel 2:21 Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 32:35 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Deuteronomy 6:7 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. Juan Valdes Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey EQUIP+ EQUIP Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 12:14 Ecclesiastes 3:11 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Elohim Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 3:12 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 3:20-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-16 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 5:20 Ephesians 6:10-18 Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:4 Equip Retreat Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 20:11 Exodus 33:14 Ezekiel 33:11 Facing the Giants Family dinner Fascinating Facts Fearless Faith Frank Figueroa Gabby Terry Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:9 Gary Varvel Gen Z Genesis 11:1-2 Genesis 11:6 Genesis 11:7 Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 13:8-12 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:14 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:28 Genesis 1:29 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 22 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3:12 Genesis 3:14-15 Genesis 3:20 Genesis 3 Genesis 9:7 Genesis and the Gospel Genesis Give thanks to the Lord. Glad You Asked Christmas Edition Glad You Asked Glendive Montana Glory to God! God created you God is love. God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God makes no mistakes. God won the battle God-created world God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's dwelling place God's grace God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grace Mally Grace Moffitt Grammar matters Groggy Hallelujah! Hawaii He is always faithful. He is risen Heaven Hebrews 10:1-18 Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 10:23 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:14 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:16 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? How to Think Hubble Human life is sacred. Huntsman Center Hurry sickness I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum In everything give thanks. Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 43:2 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 53:6 Isaiah 55:11 Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Israel Museum It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 James 4:14 James 4:7 James 4:8 January 2022 Jehovah Rapha Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jeremiah 31:3 Jeremiah 33:3 Jeremiah 36:32 Jerusalem Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Jesus the Messiah Jesus Jewish feasts Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:10 John 10:11 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:1-3 John 14:6 John 15:1-11 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 3:17 John 6:51 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joseph and Mary Joseph Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Jude 1:22 Julaine Appling Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School Keeping teens faithful King David King Hezekiah King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Know why you believe. LEAD Wisconsin Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-23 Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 12:8 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Little boys need Mamas. Little boys need to know their Mamas like them. Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 1:32 Luke 22:32 Luke 24:38 Luke 2:1-14 Luke 2:24 Luke 2:55 Luke 2:7 Luke 5:1-11 Luke 5:37-39 MRRHWQ 15:32-38 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:45 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Mary Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28-30 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:13-21 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 14:31 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 1:22-23 Matthew 24:35 Matthew 27:15-25 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:18 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19-21 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:25-26 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Messiah Mic'd Up Mic'dUP Mic\'d Up Mic\'dUP Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Micah 5:2 Micah 6:8 Michigan State University Miracles Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Never Forget. Never Again. New Year's resolutions New Year\'s resolutions Nigeria Noah's ark Nonconformity Not yet a human. OJ Simpson Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Paul Varnum Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 2:6-11 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:6-9 Philippians 4:8 Pilate Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Pool of Siloam Potter Pray for Rachael Neal. Proverbs 11:10 Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:34 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 1:8-9 Proverbs 20:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 23:19-21 Proverbs 27:17 Proverbs 3:5-6 Proverbs 3:5 Proverbs 3;5-6 Proverbs 6:16-19 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 100 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 139:4 Psalm 139 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 18:30 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 29:2 Psalm 2:1-6 Psalm 31:14-15 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 37:3-7 Psalm 37:5-6 Psalm 37:5 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 63:3 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 73:16-17 Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Rachael Neal Reasons for Hope Responds Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Rebekah Haynie Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection Revelation 19:11 Revelation 20:12 Revelation 22:18-19 Revelation 7:9-11 RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 11:36 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 1:20 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:10-11 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 5:6-10 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:18-25 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Romans 8:38-39 Romans 8:38 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures Seal of Baruch September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Steve Herzig Supreme Court Surprised by Joy Testify Thanksgiving The Bible Project The Bible is a Jewish book. The DeBunked Files The Plumb Line The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth There's Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\\\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! Think before you post. Thinkful TikTok Tish Kerby Titus 2:6 Tower of Babel Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. WEF Wade Wacker Wash their feet. Wealthy Christians What are you thankful for? What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Will Our Generation Speak? Within Our Reach Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. Your vote matters. Youth outreach Yuval Noah Harari Zola Levitt a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth abundant life acacia accepting help achieving the impossible adventure anatomy and physiology angels angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics artificial intelligence astronomy astrophysics atonement for sin be not afraid best of luck biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview biology blindfold boldness bold boys branch brokenness bullae bulla butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cancer journey cancer cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children choices clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction consequences created in Gods image creation vs. evolution critical race theory critical thinking cross curriculum cut the head off the snake debate deception defend depressed depression design of the eye designed by God desperate passion dinosaur dig distractions don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt eisegeses embryology encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God eternity evangelism evidence for a creator examine the scriptures exegesis eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed fig filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach forest forever home former athiest free will freedom of choice fruit fulfilled prophecies galaxies gestation give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good luck good news of Jesus Christ good news good will toward men grace gratitude grog having conversations heavenly host hermeneutics heroes of the faith history of the universe hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God inn investment isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers leaf light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones loss love of money love mATTHEW 26: 20-29 made for another world made in His image manger marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture miraculous design missing opportunities more like Christ motivation multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no coincidence no complaints no hope no pain no gain no place like home no quitting no room in the inn nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed oak objective right and wrong olive one foot in front of the other one race one-world government opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance palms part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward peace persecution persevere perspective physics plans pomegranate positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying pregnancy pregnant preposition prioritize God pro-life progress propitiation providence quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest revival right time right words root of all evil root sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest spiritual legacy spotless Lamb of God stable stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering summer camp swaddling clothes sycamore symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science technology teen questions teens telescope temple of the Holy Spirit terebinth thank you thankfulness thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the human eye the lion will defend itself the seeing eye the wooing of God theology think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trees trials tribulation troubles trust Jesus truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift vine virgin birth visual reminders vote wethering the storm where two worlds collide willow windows to the soul wonder of boys work ethic worldview worth fighting for worth it worthy of protection young earth your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship zoo guide