Barabbas: Day 30 of Lent
15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus a Barabbas. 17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus b Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.
20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
Matthew 27:15-18, 20-25
Also in Mark 15:6-14; Luke 23:19-25; John 18:39-40.
Now there’s irony, Lord:
you both have the same name!
Jesus Barabbas, or, Jesus, Son of Abba!
Why did they choose the wrong one?
Barabbas must have laughed himself sick!
No wonder you wept over this city that put its trust in armed force.
But why do we always choose the wrong one?
Why do we want a man of action, someone who’ll get things done quickly?
Why do we settle for violent action?
Why do we force people to do what we want?
We pray for all oppressed people, for all who suffer violence, for terrorists and all who inflict violence.
Give me the courage I need to stand for what is just and true and to live your way of nonviolence.
and for God’s sake
deliver me from any malice or spite!