Good morning! I’m glad to welcome you to worship today at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
On Friday, April 15, 33 AD sometime between 7:30 and 8:30 am, Jesus faced a sixth trial in less than six hours. Jesus had already faced the Jewish elders, the High Priest and the whole Sanhedrin. He had stood before Herod Antipas and was now in custody and badly beaten as he was brought for the third time before the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate.
Those who had Jesus arrested, and had already had him beaten twice, were now asking permission to execute him. In less than four hours, Jesus would be hanging on a cross. In less than seven hours, he would be dead.
In Matthew 27:15–31, you and I will read a summarized transcript of a rigged trial and a corrupt judicial system that wrongly convicted an innocent man, a man who was falsely accused of treason and sedition.
The setting is the front steps of the governor’s palace. The characters are Jesus, the governor, and his accusers. The time is dawn. But one man, unknowingly, steps onto the stage. His name is Barabbas, a well–known terrorist who had been arrested for treason, terrorist acts, mass murder, and for leading an insurrection against the Roman government. He was somewhat equivalent of a modern day Osama Bin Laden.
This morning, we will reconstruct the trial and ask the question, who is Barabbas? And most importantly, what do you and I have in common with this treasonous individual?