The First and Final Interview with Barabbas

David Reinstein,LCSW By David Reinstein,LCSW, 2nd Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

I had a unique opportunity to interview Barabbas, the man a crowd once chose over Jesus Christ. I took it, of course.

In advance of Easter

In the writings of the New Testament, Barabbas is portrayed as a common criminal who was sentenced to death by crucifixion on the same day as Jesus Christ. The Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, following what had become the Passover tradition in the Roman territories of freeing one person sentenced to death by public acclimation, offered the choice between Condemned Man #1 and Condemned Man #2. "INRI" or Barabbas.

When he asked who to release, so the tale goes, the crowd responded loudly and unambivalently in near unison, "Give us Barabbas." He did exactly that and every Christian is more than passingly familiar with the outcome of that choice.

With the use of psychic channeling provided, pro bono, by the Psychic Society for the Preservation of Conscious Christianity, I sat with their Medium and Translator, Shlomo Ben Jesus in a small, candle lit, Quonset hut on the hill once called Golgotha. Following a few ancient Aramaic incantations, the spirit of Jesus Barabbas appeared in a corner of the hut. Strangely aglow, he appeared very old, unkempt and solemn.

With some mild but readily noticed reluctance, he agreed to speak with me.


Hello, Mr. Barabbas. As you might suspect, for the next couple of thousand years, you will be thought, by many, as having been the mistaken and unworthy choice of a revved up mob to be freed while the man who would later be revered as having died to save humanity from its universal and primordial sins died at your side. Does this surprise you?

B. (Barabbas):

No, of course not. I am dirty and an admitted thief and outcast - but I am not stupid. If I had been a member of the crowd instead of one of those raised for them to choose between, I would not have voted for my own release. I feel really lousy about the whole thing.

(His head was bent in what seemed like genuine anguish and he sobbed quietly for a while as I considered and then reconsidered the next question.)


Are you really been that bad man history has made of you, or do you think that has been to contrast you more clearly from the other Jesus, the one who the crown did not vote to save?


Well, I suppose that depends on what you mean by being bad. Am I a thief? Yes, certainly. The choices were limited, for me, to being either a beggar (hoping that others will give me what I need out of the kindness of their hearts) or taking it. I chose the latter - It seemed like a surer thing. Times were very hard back in those days - By comparison, the modern world's recession is an invaluable golden calf.


Was there ever a third option. Did any of the other Jesus' followers ever approach you about joining them?


No. I don't think I was the kind of colleague they were seeking. They were more interested in men who were craving faith and were ready to attach that need to something or someone other than Pilate and the Empire he represented. I had no such need. I could never figure out how people could feed themselves or their families on faith. Food has always seemed a more worthwhile quest for my family and me.


(I am surprised to find myself feeling sympathetic feelings toward this man who lived so that Our Savior might die.... Wait a minute! If the other Jesus had not have died.... If the crowd had chosen Him to live, we would have not been blessed with a Savior to die for our sins, be reborn and promise life everlasting to us all!)

Were you surprised that the crowd chose you to survive?


No. Actually, it seemed pretty clear that for history to correctly unfold for those millions who would come to call themselves "Christians" that my partner in crucifixion not escape his death at that time. I sense you have thought this and you are correct.

I believe that it were actually I who was sacrificed to live and to live with the ultimate of survivor guilt (a notion that I am aware will not be popularly introduced for many centuries to come but has been felt since time immemorial) and it is I who am sentenced to unending eras and eons of suffering, punishment, hatred and rejection.


Are you saying, Barabbas, that you think that people who follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth actually owe you some thanks for being chosen to live so that he might die and, by doing so, absorb, suffer for and reposition their relationship to the original sin of humankind?


Yes, of course. We all have our roles to play. I was cast to survive on the Friday that has come, ironically, to be called "Good" so that His memory, spirit and meaning could live forever. Had I died and he lived, it seems probable that the future would have taken somewhat of a different turn. There probably would have been a lot more Jews in the world as the years moved onward from that day.


You'll forgive me for saying this, but you sound like a devout and understanding

Man who both appreciates and laments the importance of his role in history. I confess to having been one of those who has seen you as being the one who got away ... the wrong one. I see now that I may have been mistaken.


We were and are all mistaken. We all were and are both perfect and unavoidably imperfect. The guy on the other cross had to die for so many to come to know this.

(There is an eerie green glow all around Barabbas and his 'being' begins to fade.)


Wait, please... Jesus Barabbas.... Just one more thing! (He appears about half present and Shlomo suddenly and for the first time during our session appears nervous.)

Did the other man die for our sins?


(Very quietly, in a fading whisper)

You are asking the wrong Jesus about that one.


(And he is gone.)

On the way back to my Bed and Breakfast in a converted old barn near Bethlehem, Shlomo Ben Jesus asks me, "So, Mr. Big Time Reporter; Do you know more than you knew before that meeting?"
(I reflected ... And had trouble bringing my feelings to thought and my thought to words.)

I was able to answer only "I am only surer than I have ever been about how little I know."

Sleep came to me in the Frankincense Suite slowly that night - and deeply.


Barabbas, Crucifixion, Give Us Barabbas, Jesus, Pontious Pilate

Meet the author

author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
Clinical Social Worker (Psychotherapist), humorist, poet and musician, Born in Boston and a relatively unscathed survivor of the 60's.
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David Reinstein, LCSW

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author avatar M G Singh
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

Excellent post

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author avatar Neha Dwivedi
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

great share David!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Sep 2011 (#)

Great piece of dialogue. I just loved it. Thanks.

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author avatar Retired
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Interesting dialogue...thanks for sharing....

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author avatar Roland -a reluctant iconoclast
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Fanciful, fictitious and condescendingly false.

"Mr. Barabbas"? Mr. Son of God?

"... an admitted thief and outcast"?, -as far as I know, the man named Jesus but who was called Barabbas, didn't say a word to anybody (nobody said anything to Him).

The Holy Gospels i.e. Good News story is just That... a Greek philosophical notion of the bad news of the destruction of the Jewish nation and a mockery of their religion.

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

For Roland:
Thus, one imagined interaction atop what you have suggested is was an earlier one.

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author avatar Buzz
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Great share, Dave.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Remarkable job, old buddy!

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author avatar Vernazoa
5th Sep 2011 (#)

What a twist and great idea you have. I would love to kick Barabas in the shin and do a round house kick on his chin.

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author avatar Songbird B
3rd Oct 2011 (#)

David...You just get better and better..What a share!

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