Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate, Searched for An Alternative

“Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.”  {Mark 15:6-7}

“Pilate sees a way out of this predicament by offering to set Jesus free as the one prisoner released each year at the feast.” {The Bible Panorma}

One prisoner was released each Passover and Barabbas was a well-known prisoner known for murder.

“And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.”  {Mathew 27:16}

Barabbas was famous for his deeds.

“The people choose rather to have Barabbas released, a wretched fellow, that had nothing to recommend him to their favour but the daringness of his crimes. “  {Matthew Henry Commentary}

“And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. “  {Mark 15:9-10}

Pilate offered to release Jesus and felt the chief priest envied this man.

But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.”  {Mark 15:11}

The chief priest may have feared what would have happened to them if Jesus were released so they stirred up the crowd to release Barabbas.

“But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder.”  {Luke 23:18-19}

The crowd cried out for Barabbas to be released.

“Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus.”  {Luke 23:20}

Pilate tried again to get them to release Jesus.

“They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. {John 18:40}

“He hoped that he had gained his point, to have Jesus released. But, to his great surprise, they said Barabbas; as if his crimes were less, and therefore he less deserved to die; or as if his merits were greater, and therefore he better deserved to live. The cry for Barabbas was so universal, one and all, that there was no colour to demand a poll between the candidates.”  {Matthew Henry Commentary}

But the people wanted Barabbas—a robber, murder and man who stirred up an insurrection.

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