Pilate who proposed to the Jews the choice of Barabbas or Jesus. Barabbas was prisoner, the worst criminal Of the day. Barabbas was a highway thief while Christ was the Good Samaritan. Barabbas was a murderer while Christ raised the dead. Barabbas stirred up sedition while Christ brought peace. But the people chose Barabbas. They wanted Him crucified who raise the dead, and him released who destroyed the living; let the Saviour of the world be condemned to death, and the slayer of men be released from prison, and be pardoned.
For the crowd to choose Barabbas over Jesus, it had first to lose its moral bearings, its sense of right and wrong. “And for the third time [Pontius Pilate] spoke to them, ‘But what harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him flogged and then let him go.’ But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts kept growing louder.”
Pilate asked a question upon which hangs the eternal destiny of our soul: WILL YOU CHOSE BARABBAS OVER CHRIST? When you go from here this morning refusing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, your true heart will be revealed. You will cry with this multitude, Let Him be crucified. If you deny Christ and refuse to believe in Him, you prefer Barabbas to Jesus. If you love the cares of this world more than bowing to Christ, you love Barabbas. If you love sin more than Christ, you prefer Barabbas.
Jesus Christ has been accused of 3 crimes, but He is guilty of none. There is a perpetual enmity between the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent. There is an irreconcilable, implacable enmity and hatred between grace and wickedness, light and darkness. Pilate cares nothing for Christ’s doctrine but he does not want to lose what was his. So Pilate sends Him to Herod who is in Jerusalem at this time.
Let’s compare those time of Jesus to the present time of Gloria Arroyo.When we will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of our souls, we do the same to Him as these men. We call Him King but it is a joke. We dress Him in a white robe considering Him to be a good man, then laugh Him to scorn. We seem to bow to Him and call ourselves His subjects, but it is mockery. Ruin without remedy will seize on those souls that like Herod, mock the messengers of God. Arroyo is different from Pilate,Arroyo never and doesn’t want to hear the people’s voice.
Since her inevitable but still shocking pardon of convicted rapist and murderer, President Arroyo has gone on to bless other convicted criminals, including double-murderer Claudio Teehankee Jr., child rapist Romeo Jalosjos and double-murder mastermind Rodolfo Manalili, with executive clemency.
She has deliberately mixed her signals, including in the ambit of presidential grace the last batch of soldiers convicted in the murder of Ninoy Aquino as well as convicts from a poor background or suffering from old age.
She has also changed her tune. Her various spokesmen used to defend her exercise of executive clemency as part of a President’s privilege (true); today they defend it as merely ministerial (decidedly false). That makes her Pontius Pilate, too, washing her hands of the terrible responsibility.
But in pardoning rich and powerful men like Jalosjos, who share the dubious distinction of receiving clemency without accepting guilt or affecting remorse, the President becomes the cause of moral confusion.
Clemency is supposed to complete the work of justice, after a convict has undergone rehabilitation and reformed his ways. To bestow it on convicts like Estrada and Jalosjos, who proudly declare they did no wrong, despite abundant evidence and courageous judicial decisions, is to erode the ground on which the pillars of justice stand.
It is to choose Barabbas – and send Jesus to his death.
Jesus was killed in fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Whether his execution was instigated by the Romans or by the Jews doesn’t matter. His sacrifice was willing and necessary to bring about God’s kingdom on earth.
Jaloslos and others dangerous convicts were not misunderstood. It was clear to everyone that what Arroyo advocating went against accepted beliefs. To most people, Arroyo were labeled heretics because her ideas were unacceptable.
These people she pardoned weren’t misunderstood. They were dangerous.