Last week, Jesus was on trial before the elders, Pilate and Herod.
All of them could find nothing wrong with Jesus. He was blameless and sinless.
Today we will look at a man named Barabbas. Let me describe Barabbas’ room: hard bed; dark, dingy walls; window (draw bars). Where was Barabbas?
That’s right! He was in Jail! He deserved to be in jail. He was a thief and a murderer. The law at that time said that the punishment for murder was death. Did Barabbas deserve to die according to the law at that time? Yes, he did.
Barabbas heard a crowd outside and looked out to see what was happening. (Draw Barrabas at window.) The crowd was yelling his name, then they began yelling, “Crucify him!” Barabbas became frightened; the time for him to be killed had come.
A guard came and took him to the judge, who announced that it is a custom at that time of year to let one prisoner go free. He, Barabbas, had been chosen. Did he deserve to go free?
No, he did not. But he was set free anyway. Barabbas went outside, where he again saw the crowd, now headed up a mountain (draw crowd). Following them, he saw three crosses being put up. On two of the crosses he saw men he recognized; they were thieves who had been in jail with him (draw these two crosses). But on the third cross hung a man he did not recognize (draw center cross). He asked a person nearby, “Who is that on that cross there?” The man answered, “Haven’t you heard? They let a thief and murderer named Barabbas go free, and they are killing Jesus instead!”
Did Jesus deserve to die? No, He didn’t. Did Barabbas deserve to die? Yes, he did. When Barabbas heard this, he surely must have thought, “He died for me.” (fill in letters)
Do you know, children, that we were also like Barrabas? We were sinners. We did wrong things. We disobeyed our parents. We lied. We stole. We lost our temper. We didn’t share with our brothers and sisters. And because of our sins, we deserved to die. Just like Barrabas.
Jesus didn’t just die for Barabbas; He also died for each one of us. He took the punishment meant for us so that we can have His life.
The name Barrabas means “son of the father”.Barrabas was the son of the father who did not measure up. He failed. He was weak.
But Jesus, the Beloved Son of the Father, was the elder brother who took the place of the ones who failed. Because of Jesus, Barrabas was handed undeserved forgiveness. When the Roman soldiers came up to take him out of the prison, he thought he was going to die. But instead of the cross, he could walk out a free man.
Because of Jesus, we, too, like Barrabas:
Are SONS of THE FATHER
Thank you Jesus for exchanging our punishment with your life!
2. Activity Suggestion:
Memory Verse game: John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Video clip: For older kids, you may want to show this scene from “The Passion”