SEMINARIANS REFLECT ON HOLY SEASON
“‘Not this man [Jesus Christ], but Barabbas!’” (Jn. 18:40). On Good Friday, these words in the holy Gospel according to St. John strike me. Leading up to this moment, Jesus had been arrested, sent to Caiaphas, the high priest, and then to the praetorium to be questioned before Pontius Pilate. Since it was Passover, it was custom to free and crucify a prisoner. Pilate turns to and asks the Jewish people who he should condemn and pardon. It would seem like an easy decision for the Jews to free Jesus and condemn a prisoner named ‘Barabbas.’ There’s no comparison here! Barabbas was a crooked thug who led a rebellion, murdered people, and should be held accountable for his actions. Jesus cast out demons, healed the disabled, restored the blind, and cured the mute. What did the people do? They freed Barabbas! How was a vicious killer chosen over the Son of God? Upon further reflection, Barabbas reminds me of someone. That ‘someone’ is me. God the Father sent His only begotten Son for people like Barabbas. As a sinner and in my brokenness, Christ still died for me. As sinners and in our brokenness, Christ still died for you. We can be so blind to the self-sacrificing love Jesus showed for Barabbas. As it was for Barabbas, it continues to be for us – there is only one thing that can free us from the imprisonment of sin – and it’s the One who took Barabbas’ place and continues to take our place every day. “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”
Kaiden is currently attending Conception Seminary College and is in College I. His home parish is Sacred Heart in Plainville.