HT: Ryan Welsh
When Pilate gave the crowd the choice between Jesus and Barabbas, they chose to free Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Why? Why would they choose to have a murderer and thief freed and the one who claimed to be the Son of God crucified? The answer is as simple as it is haunting—they chose the Jesus that met their strongest felt need.
Ironically, we learn in Matthew 27:17 (in the Greek New Testament as well as the NRSV) that Barabbas’ first name was actually Jesus. So very literally, Pilate gave the choice between which Jesus they wanted. In that moment, as they were stirred by the religious leaders, they chose the murderer over the messiah.
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