Matthew 27:15

Now at that feast the governor was accustomed to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they desired.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Now at that feast the Governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner whom they would. There comes in before this verse Luke 22:5, which records Jesus being sent to Herod, Pilate and Herod being reconciled, and His coming back again in a gorgeous or white robe. This was the dress of candidates for an office, of royal persons, and also of buffoons: Herod mocking in this way at the supposed ambition of Jesus in affecting to be a king. Symbolically: The white garment represented the innocence, victory, immortality, glory, &c, of Christ, which He purchased by His sufferings and insults. "Let thy garments be always white" (Eccles. ix8). And so S. Ambrose, "He is arrayed in white, in evidence of His immaculate Passion," and that as the spotless Lamb of God He took on Himself the sins of the world. Pilate then saw what was Herod"s object in sending Him back, and said to the Chief Priests (Luke xxiii14), "Ye have brought this man unto me as one that perverteth the people . . . I will...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Upon the solemn day of the paschal feast, (which began the evening before) it was a custom for the governor to pardon and release to the people any one criminal whose life they should petition for: and to induce them to beg for Jesus, he put in the balance with him one Barabbas a famous malefactor, a seditious murderer, says St. Mark; a robber, or thief, says St. John. (Witham) Pilate, wishing to release the innocent Jesus, that he might not give the Jews a possibility, as he thought, of refusing his offer, puts the murderer Barabbas in competition with the innocent Lamb of God. (St. John Chrysostom) ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Of what nature was this? It was a custom for them to release one of the condemned, and by this means he attempted to deliver Him. For if you are not willing to release Him as innocent, yet as guilty pardon Him for the feast's sake. Do you see order reversed? For the petition in behalf of the condemned it was customary to be with the people, and the granting it with the rulers; but now the contrary has come to pass, and the ruler petitions the people; and not even so do they become gentle, but grow more savage and bloodthirsty, driven to frenzy by the passion of envy. For neither had they whereof they should accuse Him, and this though He was silent, but they were refuted even then by reason of the abundance of His righteous deeds, and being silent He overcame them that say ten thousand things, and are maddened. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Note how far Pilate goes to give the crowd a chance to relieve themselves from blame. Observe how they did not leave themselves so much as a shadow of an excuse. Here was their choice: Let an acknowledged criminal go free, or free one whose guilt was still disputed. If they should choose to let the known offender go free, would it not be even more fitting to allow the innocent to go free? For surely Jesus did not seem to them morally worse than acknowledged murderers. But they instead chose a robber. This was not just any robber but one who was infamous for wickedness in many murders. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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