Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner - anyone the people requested.
One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising.
The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual.
“Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked.
(For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.)
But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus.
Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.