Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

My Name is Barabbas


He was a rebel and a murderer. Condemned to die without any chance of appeal. He was guilty and he knew it. Then when it appeared all hope was gone, reprieve arrived in the form of another chosen to die in his place (Luke 23).

I have been a rebel. And though I have not physically murdered anyone, Jesus said those who are angry with or scorn their brother will also be judged. My sin brought me the judgment of death, but another died in my place (Rom. 6:23).

My name is Barabbas.


He knew the prisoner in front of him had done nothing worthy of execution, yet gave into the crowd demanding Jesus’s death. Then he tried to absolve himself by washing his hands and declaring himself innocent of Jesus’s blood (Matthew 27:24).

I have tried to “cleanse” my sin with good works, as if doing good would somehow outweigh and override the death I deserve. But nothing I could do would earn God’s favor because His salvation is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9).

My name is Pilate.


He was the high priest, charged with being the intermediary between the people of Israel and the holy God to whom they belonged. Yet he presided over an illegal trial in the middle of the night to condemn the innocent Jesus to a criminal’s death.

I have presented myself as a religious teacher, seeking the praise of men, behaving in ways that contradict the very Word I teach.

My name is Caiaphas.


From my vantage point two thousand years later, it’s easy for me to judge these people of the Easter story. Until I remember that, apart from the grace of God, I am no different from them. I am them.

No, I was them, but no longer. Today, I am no longer Barabbas or Pilate or Caiaphas. Today I am a daughter of the King, because Christ took my sin on Himself and clothed me with His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21).

Can you say the same thing?

What’s your name?


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  1. Dave

    And my name is Dave.

  2. Cindy Zuidema


  3. Barbara

    Thank you for this eye opening perspective! Happy Resurrection Day!

  4. Jessica Brodie

    Wow, what a great piece! You are so right… we too are Barabbas, and Pilate, and Caiphas… and Judas… and Saul… and so many others. Yet God so loved the world He gave His Son so we might join Him in eternal life. What a gift! We are saved!!!

  5. Melinda Viergever Inman

    Yes. I am every one of those people as well as the mocking crowd, for I ran from my faith and lived a life of sinfulness even after I knew the Savior. I betrayed him. He responded by welcoming me back with open arms, prodigal that I am, when I finally repented in tears and regret. What a wonderful Savior!

  6. Yvonne Morgan

    I have often thought about if I were present during those times. I like to fool myself and think I would stand up for. Christ. But I would have called for Barabas. We are the same as all those people. Thanks for sharing Ava. Good and thought provoking blog.

  7. Nancy E Head

    Alleluia! He is risen indeed. And we are new because of Him.

  8. Karen Friday

    Yes, my name is Karen, a daughter of the Most High God!

  9. Janice D. Green

    I love your post, how it brings our sins into focus when we see your transparency. Thank you.

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