As the crowds gathered before Pilate's house that morning, he asked them, 'Which one do you want me to release to you--Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?
The story goes like this...a hardened criminal is in the same prison as Jesus, the custom was to pardon one prisoner before the feast of Passover. Barabbas is considered a notorious criminal who was in prison for committing murder during the insurrection against Rome, although we don't know what his previous crimes were, we do know that his current crime was punishable by death. Barabbas was a long shot, the odds were against him to be released, however, the crowds were filled with hate for Jesus, a man who knew no sin, had committed no crime, was found to be innocent, but yet, he was chosen to be crucified and Barabbas was chosen to be freed.
The phrase, "not fair" has been used more times than can be counted, it's often used when someone believes they're innocent and yet being accused; or if something of value is given to someone else rather than to themselves.
In the story of Jesus vs Barabbas, we see the ultimate example of "not fair." There simply wasn't any evidence to convict Jesus of the crimes He was being accused of and plenty of evidence to suggest Barabbas would finally get what was due. On a human level, this was a great injustice, it was a terrible evil. Jesus had been betrayed by a friend, Jewish leaders hated him and wanted Him dead, so they could go on with their corrupt plans, the crowd chose to free a man guilty of capital murder over a man not guilty of any crime. The murder of Jesus was, as John Piper calls it, "history's most spectacular sin," it is also considered the greatest injustice of all times.
As egregious as the story about an innocent man being executed and a murderer being freed, it is an illustration of God's will, His perfect plan for man's redemption. In the third petition of the Lord's prayer, Jesus instructs us to pray for God's will to be done. As the prayer goes, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matt 6-10 Even though, it wasn't fair, God allowed the crucifixion for a greater good, for our salvation and His glory, as Romans 8:28 tells us.
After the crucifixion of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, the world was transformed by those who witnessed the events of His crucifixion and the disciples who once struggled to understand the teachings of Jesus during His ministry on earth; they fully knew that Jesus was who He said He was and worthy of carrying out the great commission to go into the ends of the earth preaching the good news to all who would listen as Mark 16:15 tells us.
It is imperative that we never forget that God is in control, it is His decision when things will be done and He allows them for a greater purpose. Regardless of the circumstances, we must "Trust the Lord with all our heart; and not lean on our own understanding." Proverbs 3:5
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewed in their own sight!
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.