John 18:29-40 — Give Us Barabbas

Dear Friends,

Greetings in Christ.

Having stood trial before Annas and Caiaphas, Jesus will now be tried by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. John skips over Jesus’ appearance before Herod Antipas while each of the Synoptic Gospels include it. Herod was an Edomite, ie a descendant of Esau. (Gen 36:8) Thus the contention between Jacob and Esau that began in Genesis 25:22 ends with Jesus standing before Herod. Despite how the situation may have appeared to Herod, the Herod family faded from history shortly thereafter, along with the rest of the Edomites. Yet the descendants of Jacob and the followers of Jesus live on.

Fast forward to 2023. By all accounts, it would appear that the new world order is winning. However, Just as Herod thought he was secure in his position only to lose it a short time later, the kingdoms of this world will soon be smashed to pieces by the Rock cut without hands. (Dan 2:35) The Bible says God is going to make a full end of all the nations whereunto Israel has been scattered. (Jer 30:11; 46:28) That includes the US. Wherever you reside — and whether you are a Jew or a Gentile — if you have not received Christ as your personal Saviour your house is built on a fragile foundation. Quicksand. Thin ice. But if you put your trust in Christ, your house will be supported by a solid Rock who will never fail you. (Matt 7:24ff) The invitation is open to everyone. (Rom 10:13)

Father, we see many troubling things transpiring in the world today. Help us to keep in mind that we need not be careful concerning these things, for we believe and we know that You are able to deliver us. But if not, strengthen us to endure any persecution the world may throw at us. Give us the strength to stand in the evil day, having done all to stand. Give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


John 18:29-40
29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

Technically, the Jews lost the right to administer capital punishment in 30 AD, right on time according to Jacob’s prophecy. Ie, the scepter did not depart from Judah until Shiloh [Jesus] came. (Gen 49:10) Yet in practice, they still executed people when they felt like it and Rome looked the other way. (Acts 7:58) However, Jesus’ adversaries did not want to see Him stoned, the method of capital punishment prescribed in the Torah; they wanted Jesus crucified. For that, they need the help of the Romans.

32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

In our postmodern age, truth is considered to be passé, an outdated concept from a bygone age. This paradigm shift has prepared the world for the Antichrist. The only way to protect yourself from this deceiver is to receive the truth. (John 14:6)

38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Although Jesus did not answer him directly, the answer to Pilate’s question is found in John 14:6. Jesus is the truth. If you continue in Jesus’ word then you are his disciple indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:31f)

39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
John 18:29-40


Solomon wrote that there is no new thing under the sun. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, man has consistently chosen the bad over the good. Adam and Eve chose to follow the serpent by eating the fruit of the tree of wisdom. Their firstborn son likewise rebelled against God’s divine order. When his sacrifice was rejected he killed his brother out of jealousy. The rebellion in the heart of man continued until God ended it with a flood. Soon after, man rebelled once more and built a tower in defiance of God’s order to replenish the earth. They were on course to succeed for as God observed, now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. So God thwarted their plans by destroying their tower and confusing their language when He scattered them abroad across from thence upon the face all of the earth. This all happened within the first eleven chapters of the Bible. The rest of history continued in like manner, ie man rebelling against God and choosing evil over good. When the Deliverer that God promised to Adam and Eve arrived (Gen 3:15), instead of rendering Him the honor and worship He deserved, we rejected Him and cried, ‘Give us Barabbas’.

Nevertheless, God was faithful to forgive us and continue his program of reconciliation. Over the course of many centuries, countries that received the gospel gained rights and protections for their citizens. Laws based on Christian principles brought freedom. Christian education eventually became available to everyone. The standard of living in Christian countries reached unprecedented levels. In countries that rejected the gospel, the rights of women and the poor remained in the dark ages. But even in the West where freedom and justice flourished, these things did not come easily. They had to be fought for and paid for with blood. Abraham Lincoln believed that the blood spilled in the Civil War was a judgment from God for the sin of slavery.

Moving forward, in countries where people read their Bibles and sought to obey them, generation upon generation built a society that had protections built into the system in key areas like law, finance, and medicine. Yet we now face a watershed moment when all these hard-won achievements are being stripped away virtually overnight. One such example would be the safeguards built into the system for the approval of new drugs. New vaccines normally took upward of a decade to finish trials and testing for safety. Yet Trump set a new precedent that has become the new normal with Operation Warp Speed, when he rammed the new shots through without regard to the normal safety procedures. In another unprecedented manner, Trump locked down the entire nation, bypassing the safeguards of the Constitution, while telling us we were “non-essential.” This led to the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the United States, as the big box stores continued to operate without competition while small businesses went out of business. Yet many are still crying for this man to lead us.

Almost a year ago, I mentioned the efforts at the WHO to establish a treaty that would effectively end national sovereignty, making the UN director general all-powerful under the guise of medical safety. Those efforts were tabled shortly afterward but another attempt has surfaced now, scheduled to be put before the World Health Assembly in May of next year. If they are successful, it will effectively end freedom in America, destroying everything we have built, struggled for, and died for, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Yet many still trust the UN to lead the world. The founding fathers saw this coming:

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people, who wish doctors and treatments of their own choice, to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”
— Dr. Benjamin Rush

There are so many other things we could talk about. First Amendment freedoms are hanging by a thread. (See here and here.) I just picked Trump and the WHO treaty because for many people, one or the other represents a Barabbas of sorts. Regardless, even if we set aside Trump and the WHO, the message is coming through loud and clear for anyone who has eyes to see: Prepare to bow down to the image of the beast and take his mark in your right hand or forehead. Yet instead of turning back to Jesus, the world is conceding to the godless new technocracy, in many cases even welcoming and embracing them, just as they will embrace the beast and the false prophet when they come. (Rev 13:4) In other words, the world is crying, Give us Barabbas.

In closing, Pilate gave in to a mob mentality. Afraid he would lose his position if he did not capitulate to the crowd, he handed over Barabbas and had Jesus crucified. Likewise, we can either stand in the evil day or we can give in to a mob mentality. We can choose the way of the world (and much of the ‘church’), or we can choose Christ. We can choose to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Remember his words to Pilate: To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.


…..Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Galatians 4:16

…..Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 2:13

…..Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
…..In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
…..And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
…..And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
John 14:1-4