The crowd went wild. "We want Barabbas!" they yelled out. Pilate gave them the choice. Either he could let Jesus go free, or someone else could go free. The crowd didn't want Jesus to go free. When they were asked, "What should I do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?", the crowd answered "Crucify Him".
Barabbas was a notorious prisoner, who was sentenced to a cruel execution by crucifixion. While Barabbas was awaiting his sentence, Jesus of Nazareth was also brought to trial. Only the authorities could not find any thing to sentence Him with. Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, but the crowd insisted that He die. An offer was made by the authorities to set a prisoner free. When the crowd was asked who should be set free from his penalty, the crowd answered 'Barabbas". "We want Barabbas", they continually shouted. Imagine, choosing a notorious convict who made have even hurt your own family! Jesus didn't do anything wrong, but the crowd insisted that He must die. Jesus was innocent. Barabbas got to go free.
Friend, we are all Barabbases. We might not be a notorious murderer, but we have all turned against God and wanted our own way instead of His. Barabbas goes free. Jesus is crucified. But why?
Several significant things happened when Jesus was being killed on a cross made of wood. For about 3 hours, the whole atmosphere turned dark. God, the Father, was putting the sins of all of us on His Son. He was taking the penalty for our sins that we deserved. If Jesus were to be set free during that court session, He would not have taken our sins upon Himself.
The Bible says that "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
Jesus' last words were 'It is finished". He was done with taking the punishment for our sins. Now we can go free, if we want freedom from sin and its consequences. Barabbas went free from having to die the death by crucifixion. Jesus died so we won't have to spend eternity in hell.
Jesus was buried in a tomb. But He didn't stay dead. He rose from the dead, and was seen alive by many people. He ascended back up to heaven, and will come again to judge the world and to take with Him those who belong to God.
The question for all of us is, do you belong to God? Do you have a relationship with Him? Have you come to Him to receive forgiveness of your sins? Have you trusted in Jesus to be your Savior from sin, and from the punishment that God will pour out on every person who does not respond to Him?