"Barabbas” was a notorious criminal who is mentioned in all four gospel accounts. Known by some manuscripts as “Jesus Barabbas,” he had committed robbery and murder during an insurrection. And as a result, he was an inmate on death row in Jerusalem at the time Jesus was brought before Pilate.
Pilate unwittingly pitted against each other two people who represented the most antagonistic forces of all time when he asked the crowd, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” Barabbas was the essence of carnality. He was a vile and violent lawbreaker. He was the worst Pilate could offer. Jesus, on the other hand, was the sinless Savior. He was the best God could offer. The contrast could not be clearer. Yet the crowd called for Barabbas to be released. They wanted him “let loose” (GNV). …The sad reality is that we “let Barabbas loose” every time we turn away from righteousness to pursue some sinful enticement. We are choosing carnality over Christ!