"But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.
Pilate finds no fault in Jesus and would rather release Jesus than a man with quite a malevolent background. Pilate was as guilty as the Jews for Jesus's death. That means Gentiles and Jews killed Jesus...we are all guilty of His death. It's why He died...for all people...all denominations, color, nations, creeds.
I know Pilate was considered an unrelenting hard-nose in his authority, but I see him as sympathetic toward Jesus. He found no fault with Him and did not want to kill Him. And yet...he did...he seemed to be forced to. Between a rock and a hard place...perhaps for political gain.
I've read these scriptures before. But not until today did I question the custom of releasing a prisoner at Passover. It has never been suggested in any other context, never mentioned, except at this time in Jesus' life. I did some research. No absolute reason is available. Only speculation. It might have been something Pilate decided on his own for his own popularity to keep peace with the Jews. We just don't know. No Jewish records admit to this custom.
What I find interesting: Barabbas' name means son of the father. Here we have two men with similar claims/names: The Son of God, the Father and son of the father. I'd heard this years ago and it makes this that much more interesting. I'm sure more could be written just about this.
Two men with similar names being so totally opposite. The one released was a sinner while the falsely accused was killed. While I know Jesus had to be killed to fulfill scripture, this is like believing the lie over wanting to know the truth. Common in the world... We all killed Jesus. When we reject Him isn't it pretty much the same thing? The Truth, however, will set us free...from sin and death...when we receive it. Jesus IS the truth. Receive Him, receive truth.
John 8:31-32 - Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”