Matthew 27:15-18; Mark 15:6-11; Luke 23:13-17:John 18:39
Pilate was not happy when he saw the guards bringing Jesus back to him for he knew Jesus had done nothing wrong. The religious leaders were jealous of how popular He was with the people. Pilate thought and thought about it, until he had an idea! There was one way he could set Jesus free and it just might work. . . .
At every Passover feast the governor could let one prisoner go free. The people chose which prisoner they wanted. Pilate hoped that this year the people would choose Jesus. There was one other prisoner the people could choose to let free, his name was Barabbas. He was a murderer, a very bad man. When the crowd was ready, Pilate asked them. “Who do you want me to set free, Barabbas, or Jesus?”
While Pilate waited for the crowd to decide, his wife sent him a message.”Be careful! Don’t let them kill Jesus. I had a terrible dream about Him last night. I’ve been worried ever since.”The religious leaders had posted their men throughout the crowd.
“Ask for Barabbas!” They told all the people. “Tell the governor you want Jesus to die!”
Pilate ordered both Jesus and Barabbas to stand in front of the people. “So which man do you want me to set free?” He asked again.
“Barabbas!” They yelled.
This took Pilate by surprise. “What should I do with Jesus?”
“Why, what has He done wrong?” Pilate asked.
They shouted all the louder. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate tried three times to talk the people out of hurting Jesus. “There’s no reason to kill this man. Why don’t you let me just punish Him, then set Him free?”
The crowd yelled even louder. “Crucify Him!”
They were getting ready to riot! Pilate called for a bowl of water. He washed his hands. “I have nothing to do with this man’s blood.” He said. “This is something all of you have done!”
The people agreed. Pilate let Barabbas go free. He had he Jesus whipped, then handed Him over to be crucified.