Pilate here offers the people a choice: Did they want him to release a murderer named Barabbas or Jesus? Pilate believes that surely, given this choice, the people would pick Jesus. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to petition for Barabbas’s release and continue to shout for Jesus to be crucified.
We as people oftentimes think we know what we want. We believe that we know best or even what is most wise. But the truth is that our hearts often lead us astray and away from the truth. We see that take place here at this moment. Right here in this critical moment in history, the people are completely convinced of the necessity of Jesus’ death. They will not listen to the logic of Pilate but believe they know best.