And I hated someone coming in as my substitute.
Why? That meant I was too tired, needed rest, had messed up, wasn't good enough for any particular situation, or didn't have the particular skills needed at the moment.
It meant I wasn't.
In the reading there is another substitution. The Pharisees saw it as trading Barabbas for Jesus. They were getting rid of the guy they wanted to get rid of and gaining some power with the people, with Pilate, and surely with their posterity by protecting them from yet another false Messiah.
But that's not how God saw it.
God saw it as trading Jesus for Barabbas.
I have no idea if Barabbas became a follower of Jesus or not, but I do know this: I am Barabbas. So are you. We're traitors. We're infidels. We're rebels. We're thieves and liars and adulterers and idolaters and law-breakers.
Jesus died as a substitute in the place of the one who deserved to die. Barabbas. Trent. You.
That substitute still means I'm not good enough. I'm not up to the task. But in this case, the substitute is a life-saver and a life-giver and I'm more than willing for Him to take my place.
How about you?