Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barrabas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
For the third time, he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decideed to grant their demand. he released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
I bet some of the same people that greeted Jesus with palm branches just days earlier stood in that crowd and chanted “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Imagine his pain and sorrow at seeing people who claimed to follow him shout for his death. Whenever we choose to be impatient or selfish or greedy or lustful or envious or angry, we are choosing to let a murderous force into our lives. It murders our joy and happiness, our relationship with the Father. We are essentially choosing to stand in the crowd and betray our beloved. Here’s what amazed me the most- He still died for the people that begged and pleaded and bargained for his death. The Jews back then and us now. He died for us, even though we make the symbolic choice of choosing to let Barrabbas reign free in our lives instead of him. This Easter season, I urge you to praise him for the great sacrifice He made on his behalf.