Tryphaena has submitted this most interesting article for the All Saints Blog. This is something I had not considered previously, that Barabbas stood as a 'model' or 'type' of the raptured church. What a brilliant notion! You will find Tryphaena at the Concord Bridge forum. If you would like to join this most excellent Christian forum, please email Annie or register at the link provided.
Tryphaena writes: I wrote this 'discussion question' for my studies with Koinonia House. I was inspired one day with this thought. I posted this at Concord Bridge in September of 2011.
Thank you, Tryph, for this outstanding piece!
Jesus made His triumphal entrance to Jerusalem at the beginning of the Passover feast. Jesus was eventually arrested and tried for crimes. Barabbas was also a prisoner at that time. The penalty for Barabbas' crime was death by crucifixion. At that time in Jerusalem there was a Passover custom which allowed or required Pontius Pilate, the current governor of Judea, to commute one prisoner's death sentence by popular acclaim. The crowd (or multitude) were offered to have either Barabbas or Jesus Christ released from Roman custody. The crowd chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified. This account is recorded in the gospels of Matthew (27:15-26), Mark (15:6-15), and Luke (23:13–25), and in John (18:38, 19:16).
Barabbas was a thief, murderer and rebel. Matthew described him as notorious (Matthew 27:16). Everything about Barabbas is true of us today. We are all sinners. Barabbas accepted Jesus as his replacement on the cross. Barabbas knew Jesus was innocent and this innocent Man would die in his place. Barabbas knew he didn't do anything to deserve this freedom. Barabbas accepted the gift of freedom and Jesus took his place on the Cross. Jesus died in the sinner's place. Barabbas was set free. Barabbas, a thief, murderer and rebel was saved at the expense of Jesus Christ, just as we who are believers are saved. The name Barabbas is a combination of two Aramaic words, bar, which means son, and abba, which means father. So Barabbas means “son of the father” ~ which of course, all believers are by their position in Christ.
Jesus was crucified alongside 2 thieves, one on the right side and one on the left. Only in the Gospel of Luke does this discussion take place. Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save
Yourself and us. "But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. "Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. "And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:39-43
Barabbas walked away a free man. Jesus and two thieves were crucified. While hanging on their crosses, suffering the agony of pain, humiliation and dying one of the thieves blasphemed Him but the other asked Jesus to remember him in Jesus' Kingdom. And Jesus said to him "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
There are three groups of people represented here. The "Barabbas group," the believers, accepting the free gift of grace from Jesus and escaping the Tribulation, they are "raptured." Another group is the "unbelieving thief" group. They do not believe, they reject Jesus and they die, and are separated forever. The "believing and accepting Jesus" thief makes up the group that will come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior during the Tribulation. They are the Tribulation saints, they will come to Jesus, endure with their faith but will be martyred. They will be with Jesus in Paradise.
We read in Matthew 20:28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." The word “for” there means in place of, instead of. We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He delivered us from the wrath and He set us free