I’m sure you know the story. It’s the portion of Christ’s passion narrative, recorded in all four gospels, where Pilate attempts multiple times to set Jesus free from the illegal grip of the Jewish religious leaders, and finally he tries a legal maneuver that allows him to free a current prisoner.
He gives the people a can’t-miss comparison choice between Jesus and a man named Barabbas, who is labeled a notorious prisoner in Matthew (27:16), an insurrectionist and murderer in Mark and Luke (15:6; 23:19), and a robber in John (18:40). On one hand, you have a guilty, violent, murderer and on the other you have the innocent, peaceful, sinless Jesus of Nazareth.
What seems like a braindead choice to Pilate ends up going south fast: “But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified” (Mark 15:11-15).
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Robin Schumacher