Showing posts from April, 2017

Two Jesuses, a Good Friday reflection

Originally published in the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship's Holy Week email series.

From Matthew 27...
“At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. … 
The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” 
And they said, “Barabbas.” 
Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”
All of them said, “Let him be crucified!”

Did you know there were two Jesuses facing crucifixion on what has come to be known as Holy or “Good” Friday? Barabbas, a fellow rebel against the Roman powers, appears in all four gospel stories, but only in Matthew 27 do we get the proper name of this man, whom Pilate releases.

The Jewish Annotated New Testament explains that Barabbas means “son of a father.” Christ, or Messiah, is a title meaning “the anointed one” and is used to refer to kings in the Ancient Near East, whose power was consecrated by anointing with oil.

Of course, Jesus Christ wasn’t a king, but…