The Crowd Chooses Barabbas
15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?”
But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
A disturbing dream.
A persistent wife.
An indecisive man.
A government that wanted to show strength.
A fickle crowd that wanted blood.
All conspired to a fate sealed.
And so Jesus, called the Messiah, who had haunted the dreams of Pilate’s wife bought the release of the notorious Barabbas and signed his own death warrant.
How often are we besieged by insidious voices that come to us unbidden and sway us into decisions we might not ordinarily have made?
If only we had been given time to consider the facts and not been pressured by the clamour and the noise into irreversible action.
“Have nothing to do with that innocent man.”
And so Pilate washed his hands and let the crowd decide.
And a woman’s dream helped to seal the fate
of our Lord.