Read Luke 23:13-25
After trying to palm Jesus off to Herod so he didn’t have to deal with this problem, Pilate finds that Jesus is back with him. He assembles the Jewish leaders and all the people and states clearly to them that the accusations against Jesus have no evidence to them, and that Herod feels the same. Pilate is simply going to whip Jesus and release him.
Suddenly the whole crowd (not just the Jewish leaders) are calling for Jesus to be crucified and Barabbas to be released. Three times Pilate appeals to them that Jesus is innocent and should be released. The crowd keeps calling for Jesus to be crucified. Suddenly the crowd’s demand is met. Pilate weakly (or shrewdly) gives in to them. Barabbas is released, and Jesus is surrendered to their evil will.
By Ian Coutts (Gospel Community Vision Coordinator)
- What does Pilate think of the accusations made against Jesus (see also Luke 23:1-2)? What do you think about them?
- Why might Pilate still want to punish (whip) Jesus if he intended to release him?
- The criminal Barabbas is introduced in verse 18 (see Matthew 27:15-18 for some detail). What is he in prison for? Could some of the accusations against Jesus from Luke 23:1-2 actually be levelled at him?
- Verses 23 & 24 show that Pilate is suddenly swayed by the yelling of the people. “Crucify him!” Why do you think he does this?
- Verse 25 reveals great injustice to Jesus. What does this mean for you? What does this convict you of?
Family Around the Table
Read Isaiah 53 together. Discuss when it was written, who it is about and what Isaiah 53 tells us is the purpose of it all. Pray and give thanks to God’s mercy for us revealed in Jesus.