Lent Day 28: Tuesday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent — Barabbas or Jesus?
Barabbas or Jesus?
Read St. Matthew xxvii. 15-22.
 Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would.
 And he had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas.  They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ?  For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.  And as he was sitting in the place of judgment, his wife sent to him, saying: Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.  But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they should ask for Barabbas, and take Jesus away.
 And the governor answering, said to them: Whether will you of the two to be released unto you? But they said, Barabbas.  Pilate saith to them: What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? They say all: Let him be crucified.
1. Before Pilate sent Our Lord to Herod, he had already sought to take occasion to release Him, from the custom of setting free at the Pasch some notable prisoner. In order to secure success, he had proposed as an alternative a noted murderer named Barabbas. To his astonishment, the name of Barabbas had at once been taken up by the multitude. It was not that they loved Barabbas, but they hated Christ. So wretched men now choose what they know is evil simply because they hate God. They cannot bear the idea of submission. They long to get God out of the way, as the Jews desired to be rid of Christ.
2. The multitude shouted for Barabbas because the chief priests urged them to it. It was the rulers, the ancients, who were the real murderers of Christ; the ignorant mob did but follow their leaders. What a responsibility it is to be in a position of authority! What an account those who rule will have to give of those subject to them!
3. When Christ returned from the palace of Herod clad in the fool’s garment, Pilate made one more attempt to get Him released. It was a fresh compromise with his conscience, and, like all such compromises, only brought fresh insults on the Son of God. Again the shout rose for Barabbas to be set free, and Christ to be crucified. O Pilate! why not listen to the whisper within you, and set the just man free at any risk? My God, save me from cowardly compromises and dallying with conscience.
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