by Christopher (From Brutal Planet)
In John 18:40, in many of your Bibles, you see that the people wanted Barabbas released from captivity. Now this seems to be a rather odd request that in the Greek really does not seem to give us any sort of indication as to why. However, in the Aramaic, Barabbas' name alone tells the story when we look at the original copies of the Khabouris Codex.
First of all who was Barabbas? Well it is said that we was a rabble rouser, he was a revolutionary he is one who has many followers and he was a tyrant. Why release such a man back into society? Well the Talmud actually gives us a little bit of the backstory on this in terms of what the Jewish people were expecting to perspire at this time in history.
The Tanna debe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era, but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost.... Rab said: All the predestined dates have passed, and the matter [now] depends only on repentance and good deeds.
Basically what the Rab is saying here is, "oops I think we missed him". Notice that the magi in the gospels were expecting the return of Messiah when they saw the star in the sky, by going by what the Torah says in terms of appointed times in relation to the sun moon and stars. But also notice Yeshua pointed out numerous calendar issues the ruling body was keeping, notice in Luke 22 Yeshua and his Talmidim were keeping Pesach on a different day than the Pharisees. Now the modern Jewish calendar which is actually Hillel's calendar has over 400 years missing in it because of time lost during the times in captivity. The fault cannot be out upon the Pharisees in this particular case cause a great deal of history was lost and Rav Hillel did this best he could. In Acts 22:3 we see that Paul actually studied under Hillel's grandson Gamilel. The rabbis still have this...."what if style of approach" as we see as well in the Talmud when they are asking about the date of the coming of Messiah.
The Targum of the Prophets was composed by Jonathon ben Uzziel under the guidance of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi... and a Bat Kol (voice from heaven) came forth and exclaimed, "Who is this that has revealed My secrets to mankind?"... He further sought to reveal by a Targum the inner meaning of the Ketuvim, but a bat kol went forth and said, "Enough!". What was the reason?-- Because the date of the Messiah is foretold in it.
Obviously they saw they missed something. Now back to the Aramaic manuscripts of John in the Khabouris Codex. When we look at the name given to Barabbas in its original form we see the reason he was released. His given name was Bar-Abba. Bar-Abba translates to "Son of Abba" or "Son of the Father", where Yeshua's name means "Salvation". Now, it starts to make sense now one would question, why then not Yeshua? Why would the crowd overwhelmingly say, "give us Bar-Abba!!!!"? Well when we look at the mindset of the teachings of that time we see exactly why they missed Yeshua and why Bar-Abba was their big mistake.
It has been taught for thousands of years in Rabbinical Judaism that the first coming of Messiah would not be as the suffering servant, in fact in modern Judaism anti-missionary groups such as the Karaites, Jews for Judaism and other splinter groups even go against the ancient Rabbis when they had even written that Isaiah 53 and try and make the claim that Isaiah 53 is not about the Messiah but rather about Israel and/or the affliction of the Jewish people. Yet the rabbis in the Talmuds and other rabbinical writings agree that this verse is indeed about the Messiah, so they are playing clean up.
But the teaching at the time and even still today is that the first coming of Messiah would not be that of the suffering servant or Messiah ben Yosef but rather of that of the Melek, the King as Messiah ben David. And the mindset is that the King must come into power and then he becomes the servant afterwards to serve the people. Because in Jewish thought and through the history of the Tanakh the King, is the servant so first he must rise into power to serve the people like King David did. So in their minds Messiah ben David coming first makes sense, and to them a rabble rouser, with a history of violence and a revolutionary such as Bar-Abba fit the mold and Yeshua coming lowly and riding on an ass did not fit the teaching at the time coming from the understanding of the traditions of the elders of the time. And this theology found its way in by believe it or not the minority sect of the Sadducees cause they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. As noted in Acts 23:8 and in Mark 12:18-27. This teaching made it's way in through the back door with the teachings of Shemmai as a reversal to the common sense approach which was a King must be a servant first if he is to be able to rule and judge rightly. Notice that Yosef was born way before David in the progression of history we also see very much a Purim message in the way that YHWH uses a chain of progression to do things in His timing and placing the puzzle pieces in such a way that differs from the way we tend to understand it.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah at Beit Geulah in Morganton, NC (www.BeitGeulah.com)