Our verse for today comes from Mark 15:7, “And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion.”
Is there one in every crowd? A rebel. Gather a large enough group of people together and invariably someone will want to buck the system and do things their own way. But sometimes it only takes two, even from the same family. One son might be the poster child for normalcy and conformity, while the next might go his own way even on the simplest of tasks. In movies, few have played the rebel like James Dean. His classic, Rebel Without A Cause, set the standard for teenage angst and rebellion against norms and authority. Historically, much of the world has been changed by rebels who did have a cause.
William Wallace helped free Scotland from the rule of England over 700 years ago, refusing to submit to the oppression that its rulers wanted to impose on Wallace and his fellow countrymen. Many of the men who helped start our country were considered rebels or worse by the people and government from which they initially sprang. Barabbas was a rebel of sorts amongst a group of rebels. They murdered and stole for some supposed cause. Even Jesus, the man standing beside Barabbas as their fates hung in the balance, could be described as a rebel. It was His rebelliousness against the religious structure that enraged those who created and maintained that structure, and it took Him where Wallace and others ended up as well, dying for something much bigger than a single life.
There is a rebel in every crowd, because people make up those crowds, even of two. You and I are nothing if not rebellious. We may go along and avoid trouble and do the right thing, but our wills and our wants are kicking and screaming in our heads. We know a better way, an easier path, a quicker solution, a cheaper process, a different whatever, and it’s ours, and we should have it. And we can justify it for anyone willing to listen. But what’s the cause? And who is the crowd that you are playing to? And where will this rebellion ultimately take you?
As we seek Him today, let your rebellion turn on itself, and seek freedom from having to have it your way.