Glorious Exchange (Matthew 27:26) - Radical
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Glorious Exchange (Matthew 27:26)

“Then he released for them Barabbas and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.”
– Matthew 27:26

Whenever I read this verse in the middle of this long chapter in Matthew 27 that describes the crucifixion of Jesus and the horrors of it, I am always struck by this little verse, when Pilate released for the crowd Barabbas and Jesus was delivered to be crucified.

Matthew 27:26 Narrates Jesus’ bearing of Barrabas deserved Punishment

And I just see my life in Barabbas’ life and your life is the same. We deserve the just penalty of death. Barabbas did and Jesus did not. Jesus had no sin in him. He did not deserve death. And yet, Barabbas is released. I read that word released in Matthew 27:26 and I see my life. I’ve been released from the penalty I deserve. You have been released from the penalty you deserve for your sin. Jesus has taken it for you.

Jesus was the one who was delivered to be crucified. Instead of you and I dying for sin, Jesus has died for our sin. That does not get old. This is obviously just pure gospel, that Jesus took the just payment due our sin, the judgment we deserve, upon himself, in our place so that we could be released, so that we could be free from sin. Free from the ultimate consequence of sin, free from the control and power of sin in our lives. We have been released.

Matthew 27:26 Reminds Us that Jesus beared the cross to liberate Us

So live released today. Live with fresh appreciation today for the freedom that Jesus has made possible for you from death, that you don’t have to fear death. If you are in Jesus, that you have eternal life with him. You’ve been forgiven of all your sin. You’ve been restored, reconciled to relationship with God, saved from God’s wrath through his blood, and free today from the control of sin.

You are no longer a slave to sin. You’re a slave to righteousness. You are free to live in obedience to God, free to live and enjoy the fullness of relationship with God, the fullness of life, the way God has created you to live it. So live released, live free today. Jesus, we praise you for making this possible for us. This gospel does not get old. We love celebrating the freedom, the life that you’ve made possible for us, the forgiveness you’ve made possible for us by your death on the cross.

And we praise you for your resurrection from the grave and you’re conquering sin to secure our release. And not just ours, but the release of people around us who will trust in you. We pray today, God help us to be sensitive. Opportunity to share the gospel today. We pray that you use us to lead people to release the freedom in you today.

Praying for Bold Evangelism

God, give us boldness to share this good news with somebody today. And God, we pray for the spread of this good news among all the nations. When we think about Revelation 5, and Jesus, you have ransomed. You’ve paid the release price for people from every nation and tribe and tongue and language. Bring it about, among all the unreached peoples of the world, bring about their release, God. Send out laborers to bring good news of emancipation and freedom in you.

And we pray that this release, this ransom we remain known among more and more peoples and more and more nations. You’d use our lives and our families and our churches toward that end. Jesus, we praise you for the release, the freedom you’ve made possible for us by your willingness to be delivered over to be crucified. We love you, Jesus. Jesus, we praise you. We glorify you today and pray all of this according to your word in Matthew 27:26. In Jesus name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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