Barabbas wasn’t a bad guy


Chilling with my bud, Jesus.

No, Barabbas didn’t have snot dripping from his nose. For two years now, I’ve played Barabbas in the Easter play, and the directors tell me to act like a psychopath. Apparently, this comes naturally to me. Yeah, Miko the Psycho.

But I can’t find this reading in my Bible. Barabbas was an insurrectionist (one Gospel calls him a murderer, but the other explains the context more precisely)  in the scattered uprising against he hated Roman Empire. As such, he would have been something of local hero, much like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson.

So when the multitudes chose Barabbas over Jesus, it wasn’t an irrational act. Both were wildly popular with the people, so Pilate shrugged.

Barabbas was, however, a polar opposite of Jesus — not the demon-possessed against the Spirit-possessed. Rather, the earthly Savior vs. the heavenly Messiah.


Barabbas is always taking on the Roman Empire. Do you like the realistic background? It’s the Lighthouse Church School. We used a classroom as a dressing room.

At the end of the day, Barabbas’ utopia was only going to be on earth. It was only going to be temporal. After the Romans, another empire would come and smash Palestine. Such was inevitable because Palestine was a crossroads connecting three continents, a bridge where the newest conquerors had to pass.

So Barabbas was more like Obama, trying to bring a better world. This is a good thing. I’m not deriding it. But some people are so busying focusing on making this life wonderful that they forget there’s another, eternal life to work for.

18 responses to “Barabbas wasn’t a bad guy

  1. Ha! Thank you, I enjoyed that. 😉

  2. Pingback: Barabbas wasn’t a bad guy | A disciple's study

  3. There’s an organization of former yakuza gangsters here in japan that is called Mission Barabbas. A movie was even made of them, with the title, “Jesus is My Boss.” (If it were the mafia, it would be “Jesus is my Capo.” They’re really nice guys (now)!

  4. More and more, learning that it is really only eternity that matters. Patience, patience. Happy REZ day to you!

  5. There’s an old bible movie from the ’70s (it may actually be called The Bible) with a lot of big name stars that portrays Barabbas as a very intelligent revolutionary. It’s incredible how people see the word murderer and automatically visualise the worst. Yet murderer doesn’t tell the whole story, just that he unlawfully killed someone.

    • I want to add some perspective to my comment. Because of this word murderer, he is often portrayed as someone who just like to kill, like a less intelligent version of a serial killer. Yet people like to gloss over other murdering individuals who rebelled against the government, like Moses. “Yeah, but God commanded Moses to lead his people away.” That’s not the point. Moses straight up killed a dude and went against the Pharoh. In the eyes of the Jews, Barabbas could’ve very well been Moses Part II. Why is it we have two people who both rebelled against their government and murdered someone, yet simply because we know more about one than the other, the one we know less of is portrayed as some sort of savage? Serial killers get treated with more respect, yet for all we know, Barabbas may have been someone we would’ve given descriptors like “noble,” “brave,” “honorable,” and the such. To portray his as a savage is really nothing more than to lay one’s own eisegesis on him.

  6. Very interesting. Glad you have such a cool part every year for the Easter play!

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