Our passage presents a choice between two different kinds of Saviors. What is the nature of that choice between Jesus and Barabbas? Describe some ways we choose (or create) a different Jesus than the one we meet in the apostolic witness?
Pilate is a person who wants to avoid making a choice. Do you believe that Pilate can wash his hands of guilt in Jesus’ death? Why or why not? Are there places in your own life where you are trying to avoid making a decision with regard to Jesus or part of his teaching?
Consider the people’s declaration about the blood in v. 25. In the sermon we discussed anti-semitic uses of this verse and why they are wrong. Who is ultimately responsible for Jesus’ death? How is the declaration “his blood be upon us and our children” ironic and capable of two different meanings?Are we ever too guilty to cry out for the blood of redemption?
The church has always seen the story of Barabbas as a powerful picture of substitution. Why is that? (Hint: read verse 26 and 2 Corinthians 5:21.) Picture yourself in the story and think about how it would feel to know you were moments from execution and suddenly set free. How would this change your life?