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“The Story of Barabbas”

June 10, 2016

From

“Works by J.J.”

 

“The Dream”

 

There is chaos all around, people shoving one another aside to be able to move closer to the road. There was the shouting of obscenities: “May you rot in hell blasphemer!” And more pushing, more shoving. Those closest to the road busy spitting or throwing small stones, screaming their hate – “CRUCIFY HIM!”

And he, to whom all the abuse was directed, bent overt near to the ground, struggling to drag the heavy cross he is forced to carry, often slipping from his blood covered shoulders; wincing in the intense pain caused as it scrapes across open cuts that dripped blood in scattered drops upon the rough hewn stones laid down for a road, his every step a smear of blood and sweat.

This was the man that everyone hated so much that they freed me from the certain death that I had faced, rather than to free him. I looked at him and thought: ‘better him than I.’ But to look upon him and feel the sharp pain he must have felt with every step he took, every breath an agony, I couldn’t help but wonder at the look upon his face reflecting only the pain of deep sorrow as his tears ran unchecked down his cheeks mingling with the blood and sweat that covered his entire body…to look at him and know what was to come, the suffering of crucifixion, the gasping of every breath, relieved only as he pushed down with his legs, lifting his body to ease the strain on his arms. Both arms and feet pierced by spikes nailed into the beams he hung from. His shame of nakedness revealing and sharply defining his very bones.

Some of those who stood near cried quietly for fear of being seen as collaborators of the cursed blasphemer.

The Roman Guard was laughing and rolling stones for purchase of his costly garment; while the mockers mocked, and the scoffers threw stones until the guard gave chase.

There were also two thieves crucified beside him, being punished for their sins; not as lucky as I have been. And then the final disgrace of placing a twisted wreath of Acadia Thorns upon his head. With thorns over an inch long penetrating his skin. And a sign nailed to the beam over his head, words written upon it in Greek, Latin and Hebrew saying: “This is the King of the Jews, Jesus of Nazareth”; causing many to protest- “Remove that sign or at least change it to say he claimed to be the King of the Jews!” But to no avail, the sign remained by order of Pilate the King.

From where I stood I saw it all, but when this man Jesus spoke, I could not hear and moved closer.

I began pushing through the crowd that laughed and called for more wine from the innkeepers who profited by the occasion; my anger kindled and rising from the awareness that were it not for this man Jesus, I would be hanging there paying the penalty for my sins committed in my greed, my envy, and yes even in my ignorance! And to my death they would be making toast to!

Closer I stepped so I could hear his words, jostled this way and that; feeling the slap of some strangers hand to my back while the drunken sod would yell amidst the noise: “Take heed Barabbas! There hangs your savior!”

Pushing past I felt I had to get closer to hear his words. As I drew near he spoke in a loud voice: “Eloi Eloi, Lama Sabachthani!” He then hung his head and died.

As I stood transfixed, I heard someone wailing in terrible grief, and as I looked I saw a woman carefully being carried away supported in the arms of a man whose countenance was deeply etched in sorrow. Yet my eyes and thoughts were drawn back to the man Jesus.

His body was torturously covered in blood and sweat and pieces of hanging skin and I noticed that not a single bird stood upon him to feast. And while flies covered the two thieves none were seen on Jesus. Even as I wondered at this suddenly within my chest my heart exploded and…I awoke!

“After the Dream”

Unlike most dreams that are not much more than fancy, this dream was the re-enactment of that long ago day. I, Barabbas, am not the same man I was before that fateful day. And as I laid there awake I once again remembered what followed…

I remember leaving Golgotha clutching my chest, breathing in the hot air and sour odors of sweat covered men who smelled of the sickly sweet cloying reek of spilled wine, while being pressed on all sides by those that crowded around me. I had to get away fast before…but I could not escape before I screamed the primal scream of anguish…”AAarrrggghhhaaa!!!

Such a sudden and painful outcry, so loud it startled those around me, and in fear they scrambled to move away from me lest they might be touched and be contaminated with what? They knew not.

The way before me was now clear of the crowding mass, allowing my shivering body to leave in haste.

I remember leaving that place of skulls, seeking a dark place, a hole of darkness, wanting only to lay down in solitude before the augur I felt creeping up within me should take control and shake me like a wet rag wringing me inside out.

Such an inconsolable loss as I’ve never felt before wracked my body in spasms of pain as my every muscle clenched, and I knew…I KNEW!! That man’s words were true! “Take Heed Barabbas! There hangs your savior!”

After a length of time passed, I knew not of how long, I slept the sleep of the damned, often flinching so hard I would awake only to feel my eyes close, to sleep again.

When I awoke the final time the sun was already up and I was exhausted. Every bone, every joint was sore. I would have lain longer but nature called and I took strong step to keep from becoming soiled by my own waste.

I walked away from the city aimlessly traveling east. I passed many who stared at me until I came to the town of “Bezer” and understood their looks. In my wandering I had ended up in one of the six cities of refuge.

Aptly named was “Bezer”, for indeed I felt the need for a hiding place…a place I could hide while I wrestled my demons within.

There was much I needed to come to grips with, much I needed to understand. Who was that man Jesus? Why am I so afraid of him? Why does my heart feel so empty and lost? I needed these answers, for until I had them, life was my burden – life was my curse. I was but the walking dead.

 

Today…

 

The years have come and gone, twenty and five. It was only in the last year that all of the words given by Jesus and expounded on by his apostles began to come together into the understanding focus of “The Way”.

Though I was steeped in sin, much of the religion around me was rooted deep into my character so that I was hard pressed to throw its cloak off from my shoulders so I could then put-on the mantle of Truth in/of Jesus.

I now see that Jesus was the promised Messiah, God in the flesh! It raises goose bumps on my arms and neck! Shivers of delight course through me when I contemplate his being. How could we…HOW COULD “I” have been so blind to not have seen it? Yes, though I laid no hand upon him I am still part to blame for his death. But praise God my sorrow has changed to rejoicing since it was reported that Jesus has risen from the grave just three days later! How I wish I could have been among the few who saw him, spoke to him.

It is rumored to this day that his disciples came and took his body from the grave only to hide it in an unmarked grave so they could falsely claim he lives; but it is the Rabbi’s in the synagogues who swear to this. And yet it is strange that the Roman Guard put on charge over his tomb still lives to tell the tale. Strange because it is cause for death to have failed their duty to the King.

Since then some of the apostles have been beaten and thrown into jail and told to be silent in their claims and accusations. But they were bold, lions of men, going around telling all about the Messiah that was crucified. There was no denying the miracles they have done since the day of Pentecost, so they were bold to question whether they should do God’s will or man’s. And they rejoiced in their suffering.

At their teaching many became believers, as did I, but I did not receive the assurance of my salvation, The free gift of the Holy Spirit, until I started to repent of my deceitful ways, so as to know and submit to the ways of God in love, and then acknowledge the truth found in Jesus.

As I look at those around me I am saddened by the “Agape” love, which is missing in them. I see that so few seem to really strive to know God’s Agape love, found in the alternatives to their reasons for sin.

Most only pretend to care but they are full of envy and boasting; taking it upon themselves to spread the words of Jesus, but only as words with no meaning except what they themselves give to them, or as they learn in their churches.

They say these words are life, correctly so, but they refuse to come to Jesus to have this life. They seem to believe the words themselves are life and spend much time studying them, memorizing them, doing them. They are blind!

Life is found in the spirit of God’s love, not in the letter! Find life in the spirit of God’s love and the words become a reflecting light that validates the truth the words point to!

They still practice the 10 Commandments of Moses, yet fail to see that if they were walking in the love of God they would be found to be in accordance to the commandments.

Jesus himself gave only two commandments: “Repent and be baptized and believe the good news.” And, “to love one another as he loved us.”

So wise in his words; he said he only speaks what his Father has given him to speak. To the discerning his words are clearly understood. Listen to his words: “As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Again: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

We are to love as he loved, not as we love, but as HE loved! He loved us with the love of God The Father; an all compassing unconditional love known as Agape. A love we cannot know unless we repent from the lies of our sins reasons and see his loving and truthful alternatives by way of the Holy Spirits gift of discernment, in which we are then to choose to submit to, with a determined perseverance until it transforms us into HIS conformed image!

Jesus is not practicing love, he is love; and we are to strive, in repentance, to become one-with-him! It is not about doing well but of bringing all we do into the good that is in the spirit of God’s love. “Let love be your guide, let love be your goal.” In the truth acknowledged in repentance.

My time is short now. I will die soon. Yet I will strive to teach others to repent to know God in his love revealed by Jesus, and have faith in Jesus because of it. The world moves too fast for most to take the time needed to find his love, and only know the love of our passions for family, friend, lover or self, when what we need to do is follow after Jesus by way of repentance.

It is as it is meant to be. Praise God in His unlimited wisdom and knowledge. The word – for whatever reason of man, is being spread like a wildfire! Its understanding hidden from all except his apostles, prophets, and those that know his agape love.

The apostles are being killed…James was beheaded. Phillip, Andrew, Jude and Bartholomew were all crucified; as was Peter, though he chose to be crucified upside down not counting himself worthy to die the same death as did our Lord Jesus. Thomas was killed with a spear, Luke was hanged, and Mark was tied to a rope and dragged to death.

I believe John still lives on the island of Patmos, but of the others I’m not sure of. And let us not forget Paul who sits in prison and writes his letters to be shared in the churches. Teaching them, encouraging them, and comforting them as if by Gods own words as they have been revealed to him.

His letters shall be treasured some day as Paul does all he can to safeguard them for the future; and added to the letters written James, Jude, Peter, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John they shall make a formidable record of the life and message of Jesus The Christ. Every word written as if by Gods own hand, expressing spiritual truths with spiritual words, undefiled by mans mis-interpretation.

Yet for a time, until the time of the gentiles are fulfilled, the word will be written, but its wisdom hidden from all but the apostles, prophets and those that love God.

This too is as it should be, so as to establish the faith of those that find it, in God’s Agape love.

But lack of understanding in the word of wisdom does not prevent one from being given the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is cast about in the sincere yearning of man’s heart.

The devil himself causing the hearts of men to faint in fear and thus foster their efforts to find God in repentance. Never able to stop the time to come of his own destruction.

His demon influenced followers may kill us, but we will live in unity with Christ Jesus, the first fruits of our eternal life. “Come soon my Lord Jesus, comer soon!”

This has been my story, written in my own hand, with hope of my prayers being answered in your hearts with the reading of it.

I am prepared to die, yet while I live I will continue to seek to be an example by living a life of love in all I say and do.

If I have offended anyone I pray you will forgive me. It was not my intention to do so. Yet if these few words did somehow stir offense, I beg that you reconsider its source…you may find that I have done you no wrong and have simply shared with you the truth, and that it is Jesus that offends you.

If that is as I expect it is so, then I say to you with all my heart, all my soul – “PLEASE! Take Heed! For there on the cross died your savior! May you yet find he lives.”

Sincerely,

Barabbas: aka: ‘worksbyjj’

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