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In a trial that was anything but a quest for justice, a strange thing happened: Pontius Pilate offered to release Jesus in keeping with a tradition of letting one prisoner go free during the Passover Feast. The crowd insisted that Pilate release a notorious rebel and murderer — Barabbas — rather than Jesus.

This week we explore this scene in detail as we think about Barabbas, Pilate, Jesus, the crowd… and ourselves. Amid the astounding injustice in the story comes a ray of hope: As Barabbas walked away from his deserved death while the righteous Son of God was crucified, so we too escape the penalty for our sins by Jesus’ sacrifice. His blood sets us free!

Randall Waldron


key text: Matthew 27:1-2, 11-23; Mark 15:1-15Luke 23:1-5, 18-25 (NET)