Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,
and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.
Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death.
Therefore, I will punish him1 and then release him.a "
With one voice they cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!"219
(Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again.
But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!
For the third time he spoke to them: "Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him."323
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.
So Pilate decided to grant their demand.
He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.