13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then
“ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ p
31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 
My thoughts this morning are focusing on the release of Barabbas. Surely a low point for both the crowd and Pilate. Doesn’t make the crowd look good that they wanted a murderer released instead of Jesus. And what kind of governor is Pilate that he would release a murderer instead of a man he believed to be innocent – all to protect his job and his standing before Caesar?
A closer look at Barabbas: So the first and most obvious direct person Jesus dies for is Barabbas. Jesus died so that Barabbas could go free. Barabbas walks away an innocent man. One of the many ironies here is the meaning of Barabbas’ name: Son of the Father. This of course is a name that more rightly fits with Jesus, who is going to the cross in fulfillment of His Father’s will.
In a way, Barabbas represents us. We, like Barabbas, as guilty of sin. We, like Barabbas, are deserving of God’s judgment. (“For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23). But we have a savior, who died in our place that we might be set free from judgment, as so live as a true “son of the father” (or “daughter of the Father.). So on the one hand we can look at the release of Barabbas as just another in a long line of injustices that led to the cross. But we can also look at it as a picture of the gospel and our salvation.
I know I’m being a bit allegorical here, but this is where my meditating on Barabbas took me this morning: I am Barabbas. I am guilty. But I have been set free. Jesus has died in my place.
My prayer this morning then leads me to thanksgiving for forgiveness. Thanksgiving for such a Savior. Thanksgiving that I have been set free. And a prayer that this day, I might live as a “son of the Father.”
 The New International Version. 2011 (Lk 23:13–31). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.