John 18:38-40

"What is truth?" retorted Pilate. With this, he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?" They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

This passage continues the trial of Jesus before Pilate. After Jesus speaks about his kingdom of truth, Pilate responds with a cynical question: "What is truth?" It's a question that echoes through the ages, a question that many have asked in moments of confusion or despair.

But Pilate doesn't seem interested in the answer. He goes out to the crowd and declares that he finds no basis for a charge against Jesus. This is a significant statement. The Roman governor, after interrogating Jesus, concludes that he is innocent.

However, Pilate then makes a strange offer. It was a custom during the Passover for the Roman governor to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. Pilate asks if they want him to release "the king of the Jews," using the title that has been the source of the charges against Jesus.

The crowd's response is shocking. They shout for Barabbas, a man who had taken part in an uprising, likely a violent rebel against Roman authority. They prefer a criminal to the innocent Jesus.

This is a profound moment of choice. The crowd is given the opportunity to choose between Jesus, the embodiment of truth and love, and Barabbas, a symbol of violence and rebellion. They choose Barabbas.

It's a choice that still confronts us today. In our own lives, we are often faced with the choice between Jesus and the "Barabbases" of our world - the things that promise excitement, power, or satisfaction, but ultimately lead to destruction.

The crowd's choice also highlights the fickleness of public opinion. The same crowd that had welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of "Hosanna!" now cries out for his death. It's a reminder of how quickly the tides can turn, of how easily we can be swayed by the voices around us.

As we reflect on this passage, we are challenged to consider our own choices. When faced with the decision between Jesus and the allures of the world, what do we choose? Do we have the courage to stand for truth, even when it's unpopular?

May we have the wisdom to choose Jesus, the courage to stand for truth, and the faith to trust in God's unfailing love, even in the darkest of times.

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 18:38a John 19:1-3 »
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