This is pretty interesting:
Now, you know the story of the Chief Priests and Elders bringing up Jesus to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to be crucified.
Upon Pilate interviewing Christ face to face he realized His innocence; however with the accusations of the Jewish leaders against Jesus, Pilate was in a straight.
You see he needed to keep the peace in that area for Rome and part of the multi-faceted process was keeping the Jewish people under control with the appeasement of their leadership. But he was also told by his wife (Claudia) to not have anything to do with that “just man” (Jesus) because she evidently was suffering by way of some sort of nightmare she had concerning Him (Matthew 27:19).
Balancing work, family and your constituents is sometimes juggling daggers.
When the people were assembled before Pilate, he brought up the custom of prisoner release during the Passover (which happened to be one of his initiatives to keep the peace amongst the Jews). So then Pilate found a way to fulfill his wife’s request by offering the release of Jesus to the crowds.
If that were to work out: 1. Pilate would have pleased the Chief Priests and Elders by condemning Jesus, and 2. by allowing Jesus to be freed by the crowd through the yearly custom, he would please his wife… all the while the Priests and Elders could not condemn Pilate for Jesus being released because their own people released Him.
A great plan.
So, we have Pilate offer the choice to the crowd of the release of either Barabbas (a notable murderer) or Jesus. Jump to the end of the account and we see the evil, jealous Jewish leadership convince the crowd to cry out for the release of Barabbas and not Christ.
This is the VERY interesting part now:
Evidently Barabbas had a first name that was recorded in some of our earliest Greek manuscripts of the Gospels (the Caesarean text). Barabbas’ first name was “JESUS”!
Pretty psycho, right?
During those times, the name “Jesus” was a pretty common name. It is the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua”.
Here we have an adjusted reading of Matthew 27:17:
“So after they had assembled, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?”
You see that? I suppose this makes sense when you notice how Pilate addresses the crowds by describing Jesus as the one “who is called Christ.” He was contrasting the name with someone who bore the same name.
After finding this out, I investigated and found that we actually have a number of English versions of the Bible which either translate this verse as “Jesus Barabbas” or at least have a notation in their footnotes.
The explanation now thickens:
Do you know what “Barabbas” means? The name means “son of the father”.
So we have “Jesus, son of the father”, the murderer; and “Jesus, Son of the Father” the Messiah.
Jesus Christ was an innocent man about to be murdered, and Jesus Barabbas was a murderer about to be set free.
What an incredibly poignant moment in the history of the earth.
~ Daniel Gabriel