At the festival season the Governor used to release one prisoner at the people’s request. As it happened, the man known as Barabbas was then in custody with the rebels who had committed murder in the rising. When the crowd appeared asking for the usual favor, Pilate replied, “Do you wish for me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he knew it was out of spite that they had brought Jesus before him.
But the chief priests incited the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas rather than Jesus.
Pilate spoke to them again: “Then what shall I do with the King of the Jews?”
They shouted back “Crucify him!”
“Why? What harm has he done?” Pilate asked.
They shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” So Pilate, in his desire to satisfy the mob, released Barabbas to them, and had Jesus flogged and handed over to be crucified.