Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. —Mark 15:6-15

Darkness loves the darkness and darkness hates the light (John 3:19-20). Evil hates righteousness and will side with darkness. Jesus the righteous One rejected and Barabbas the murderer was chosen. Isn’t that just like the world? How often darkness in this world rejects that which is righteous?

Like Barabbas, we were in prison, a prison far worse than any physical prison. We were in a spiritual prison needing to come to our “senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who (had) taken (us) captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26). We needed someone to come to us “to open (our) eyes and turn (us) from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that (we) may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in (Jesus)” (Acts26:18).

Let us rejoice, brothers and sisters, that “he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). Let us also consider those around us that need to be set free as well. We have the gospel keys. May be we sharing them and not keep them in our pocket or on a shelf!

Dear Father, thank You for setting me free in Jesus. Oh, that I may truly live for Him wherever I am at any time. May I also share the gospel with those around me. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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