What Jesus Did! 'Release!' — Mark 15:6-8

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Every year at the Passover time the governor would free one person from the prison. He would free any person the people wanted him to free. At that time, there was a man named Barabbas in prison. He was in prison with the rebels. These rebels were guilty of murder during a riot. The people came to Pilate and asked him to free a prisoner like he always did.
— Mark 15:6-8
Illustration of Mark 15:6-8 —  The people came to Pilate and asked him to free a prisoner like he always did.

Key Thought

Jesus' ministry was all about release—release from the power of death, release from the power of disease, release from the power of the devil, release... We shouldn't find it surprising that as Jesus' death sentence approaches, the issue of release is front and center on people's minds. The Cross is about release—our release at the cost of Jesus' freedom, Jesus' comfort, and Jesus' life.

Today's Prayer

For my freedom, dear Father in heaven, I thank you. I know my freedom from the power of sin and death came at such a great price. I know that in many ways, I am Barabbas—deserving punishment but granted freedom because of your Son. Thank you. In Jesus' name I praise you. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Very early in the morning, the leading priests, the older Jewish leaders, the teachers of the law, and all the Jewish council decided what to do with Jesus. They tied Jesus and led him to Pilate, {the governor}. They gave Jesus to Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Yes, that is right." The leading priests accused Jesus of many things. So Pilate asked Jesus another question. Pilate said, "You can see that these people are accusing you of many things. Why don't you answer?" But Jesus still did not answer. Pilate was very surprised at this. Every year at the Passover time the governor would free one person from the prison. He would free any person the people wanted him to free. At that time, there was a man named Barabbas in prison. He was in prison with the rebels. These rebels were guilty of murder during a riot. The people came to Pilate and asked him to free a prisoner like he always did. Pilate asked the people, "Do you want me to free the king of the Jews?" Pilate knew that the leading priests had given Jesus to him because they were jealous of Jesus. But the leading priests persuaded the people to ask Pilate to free Barabbas, not Jesus. Pilate asked the people again, "So what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?" The people shouted, "Kill him on a cross!" Pilate asked, "Why? What wrong has he done?" But the people shouted louder and louder, "Kill him on a cross!" Pilate wanted to please the people. So Pilate freed Barabbas for them. And Pilate told the soldiers to beat Jesus with whips. Then Pilate gave Jesus to the soldiers to be killed on a cross.

Mark 15:1-15

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus traveled to Nazareth, the town where he grew up. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue like he always did. Jesus stood up to read. The book of Isaiah the prophet was given to him. Jesus opened the book and found the place where this is written: "The Spirit of the Lord (God) has come to me. God chose me to tell good news to people that are poor. God sent me to tell people who are prisoners that they are free, and to tell the blind people that they can see again. God sent me to free the weak people from their suffering and to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness." Jesus closed the book. He gave the book back to the helper and sat down. Every person in the synagogue watched Jesus closely. Jesus began to speak to them. He said, "While you heard me reading these words just now, the words were coming true!"

Luke 4:16-21

Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15

This is terrible! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? God {will save me}! I thank him {for his salvation} through Jesus Christ our Lord! So in my mind I am a slave to God's law. But in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 7:24-25

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.