Now at that feast he released to them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.…
I. THIS IMPLIES A HISTORY.
II. IT RECORDS A CHOICE. The choice involves two things — first, what was repudiated; next, what was approved. Here was the repudiation of One who was absolutely faultless. Here was the repudiation by the world of One who had wrought for the world the greatest wonders of material kindness. Here was the repudiation of One who loved them, knowing their lack of love to Himself. Here was the repudiation of One who had at His command power destroy as well as to save. From what was repudiated, turn to what was approved, "Not this man, but Barabbas."
III. IT SUGGESTS A PARALLEL. If you prefer any passion or habit, any thing or man, any person or personification, to Christ, that is your Barabbas. If you prefer any treasure to Him wile is "value," that is your Barabbas. If you prefer any company to His company, any love to His love, that object of preference is your Barabbas. If you prefer any given sin to the grace that would conquer it, that sin is your Barabbas. If, though you ought to know that this sin is destructive, that the blood of souls is on it, that it is a robber, and that it still lurks in darkness to rob you of your nobility, of your peace, of your spiritual sensitiveness, of your liberty to have fellowship with the Infinite One, and still refuse to give the vile thing up to be crucified, but will rather give up Christ, that vile thing is your Barabbas. If, refusing Christ, you trust something else to be the "Jesus" of your souls, that false righteousness, false foundation, false comfort, false hope, is your "Jesus Barabbas." Of all the faculties with which God has enriched man, there is not one so mysterious in its nature and awful in its working as the choosing faculty.
(Charles Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.