Jesus on trial
Begin with prayer, opening your heart to His Word and Spirit.
Read Luke 23:13-25
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.”  [a]
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.
Jesus is on trial. It is a trial driven by the hatred of the rulers and the inability of Pilate to reason with the crowds. Pilate finally surrenders to the will of the crowd and, at their insistence, Barabbas is released. Jesus takes his place, and the death penalty is decreed. Jesus will die and Barabbas will live. Jesus will soon take on the sins of the world and will die so that the redeemed might live.
Father, thank you for giving us the most amazing gift of forgiveness through Jesus. Amen.