He was out of options. This was it. Whatever they said, that would be it. He would have no choice, not unless he wanted a riot.
There was already unrest in the crowd. They were anxious and angry. Why, he had yet to figure out, but they were. The general roar of the people was full of hatred which was only slightly less intense then the hatred in their expressions.
Pilate grimaced up at the sun. If only the answer was written there. His wife had sent him a message, warning him to have nothing to do with this righteous man.
Well, too late for that.
He closed his eyes and looked back out at the crowd. It was now or never.
“Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” His voice boomed out over them, completely silencing them. “Barabbas or Jesus?”
“We want Barabbas!”
Pilate wanted to throttle the lot of them. “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
“Let him be crucified!”
Pilate threw his hand back, gesturing towards Jesus, “Why? What evil has he done?”
“Crucify him!” Their voices rang out loudly and of one accord.
So that was it.
Pilate looked back at Jesus one last time. He looked beaten and grieved. Broken. Sad.
And it was about to get a whole lot worse.
Based on Matthew 27:15-23
I wanted to make one point with this, and I needed this intense scene so that it hits you full force.
Every time we betray Jesus and/or God’s will for our own will, it’s like this.
Makes you think twice, eh? I know it has that effect on me.
When we pick our own will, it is quite simply like betraying Jesus.
Imagine that you are there, among the crowd, and that you do the one thing you always swore you’d never do.
Peter had some personal experience with betraying Jesus. He ran away when they took Jesus prisoner, and then denied Him three times, just as Jesus had predicted.
Do you ever think Peter forgot that? I don’t. I think the realization of what he'd done and the horror must have directly influenced him for the rest of his life. It helped him choose Jesus from then on, so that he would never feel that way again.
When I choose my will, my comfort, my security, or my plans over God’s, I don’t know if I ever give any thought to how it makes God feel. I find that absolutely horrid.
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 15:16
If we choose to unleash our Barabbas, murdering will, and then we are letting Jesus’ sacrifice be in vain. In that moment, we are betraying Him. Can you see Jesus standing there, hearing all those people who had been following Him around beg for the release of a murderer instead of Him? Yes, He knew it was going to happen, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear and see. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t want my decisions to be heartbreaking.
If we will follow God’s will, then He’s got our path. He will help us around the rocks and over the mud puddles. If we love God, then we will do our absolute best to follow His commandments. If we really want to love and serve God, then we won’t call out for our Barabbas will.
V. Joy Palmer