Release of Barabbas - artwork by Wenceslas Coehergher

Another acrostic poem by Steve Shoemaker, April 16, 2012, a reflection from the standpoint of Jesus Barabbas, the man released by Pilate. He is variously described as “among the rebels,” “a notorious prisoner, ” and a bandit/terrorist. Jesus of Nazareth is crucified. Jesus Barabbas is set free.


Because my father was a Rabbi, when

Assassinations became part of our

Rebellion against Rome, my friends were then

Amazed that I would kill.  But victory

Belongs to us:  power yields only to power.

Being arrested, jailed, soon a martyr,

All will help the cause! Peaceful ways never

Save a soul.  Blood alone will set us free…

The desire for the society that is beyond up-and-down, oppressing-oppressed, haves-and-have-nots takes many forms.  Steve’s “Barabbas” is the son of a peaceful rabbi, a man of peace. Unlike his rabbi father, Barabbas knows that “Peaceful ways never save a soul. Blood alone will set us free.”

What do you think?

Ist Barabbas right that “Power only yields to power!”

Is violence – the taking of blood – necessary “to the cause”?

There are two Jesus figures in the story. One takes life; the other gives it.

How do you understand Steve’s last line?