Published in Times and Seasons, June 1993.


In a dark dingy prison cell,
Dwells a man in a living hell;
Only a small window, high in the wall,
A dejected prisoner with no friends at all.
He crouches in a corner, paralysed'with fear,
By the tramp of footsteps, drawing near.
He thinks that now has come the time
To pay the price for his life of crime.
The door clangs open, in streams the light;
He breaks out in sweat, his eyes widen with fright.
The voice that penetrates his muddled mind,
Is rough on the edges, but rather kind;
"Have no fear, Barabbas, just come with me,
You have received a full pardon, now you are free.
Do not look so bewildered, stop shaking your head,
Jesus of Nazereth is to die in your stead."
Barabbas answered, "How can this be,
That such a good man should die for me?"
Not acknowledging a single word that was said,
The guards stared impassively ahead;
Their's was not to reason why,
One man should live and another man die.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God;
We all have trodden the path that Barabbas trod;
If we wish to have eternal life
We must accept Jesus' sacrifice.