A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.
The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"1 asked Pilate,
knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas2 instead.
References for Mark 15:11
"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
"Crucify him!" they shouted.
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged,3 and handed him over to be crucified.
References for Mark 15:15