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Barabbas and The Two Thieves
by Wayne Blank
The Lord was completely innocent, and yet was arrested That Fateful Night, "convicted," and brutally executed (see How Did Jesus Christ Die?) at Calvary, also known as "the place of the skull" (seen in the photograph at left). But then, The Son of God's innocence was the point of it all - Jesus didn't come to die for anything that He had done, He came to die for what we, all humanity, have done.
There were three other people that were closely linked with The Lord's fate that day. Unlike Jesus Christ, all three of them were truly guilty of very serious crimes. Two of them were executed along with The Lord, and the third, to further illustrate what a mockery of justice went on that day, was set free by Pontius Pilate even though there was no doubt that he was guilty.
Barabbas was a notorious criminal who Pilate proposed to execute instead of Jesus. To Pilate's credit, he genuinely tried to get The Lord released, knowing full well that He was not guilty of anything. But, to his discredit, some would say disgrace, he still gave in to the mob in the end -
"Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.
The Two Thieves
The two thieves were very likely more than simple burglars. They were also very possibly murderers as well. They were crucified, one on each side of The Savior -
"Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals - one on His right, the other on His left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.
Fact Finder: After the death of Jesus, did the commander of the soldiers who killed Him realize that He really was the Son of God?