Pilate, the Roman ruler, knew Jesus was not a revolutionary. He tried to evade the clamor for Jesus’ death. Every year at the Passover festival the Roman ruler would release one Jewish prisoner.
Interestingly Barabbas’ first name was also Jesus. Pilate offered a choice, and thought surely they would choose Jesus Christ over a man described as a robber, insurrectionist, and notable prisoner.
So he asked, “Whom shall I release unto you? Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called ‘the Christ’?” The mob yelled, “BARABBAS! BARABBAS!” Barabbas in his cell probably couldn’t hear Pilate’s lone voice, but he could hear the mob clamoring for a crucifixion.
Pilate continued, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called ‘the Christ’?” And again Barabbas could only hear the mob shouting, “CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!”
Then shortly he heard the contingent of Roman guards coming into the prison. One took the key and opened the cell door. Barabbas was terrified and likely didn’t understand the first time the guard said, “You are free to go.” Barabbas’ life had been exchanged for that of Christ.
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Contributed by Chris Appleby on Oct 18, 2000
Those who are outside the people of God are in rebellion against Him and are therefore spiritually dead. But God makes them a free offer to bring them back to life. All that’s needed to receive all of the bounty that God offers is to believe his promise,