Luke 23:21-25

Luke 23:21 (KJB)
But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

The crowd had continued to yell and call for the crucifixion of Jesus. It is interesting in the Greek, the word for “crucify” is in the Imperative mood meaning the crowds were literally commanding Pilate to crucify Jesus. The crowd was now becoming more agitated as the scribes and Pharisees were going throughout the crowd and goading them on.

Luke 23:22 (KJB)
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.

Pilate continued to hold dialog with the crowd and now he asks them what evil hath He done? Of course, the people could not bring one true accusation against Jesus so that was another one of Pilate’s questions which went unanswered. Instead of answering Pilate’s question, they continued to yell at even a greater height of voice that they wanted Jesus to be crucified. Pilate showed his weakness as a Roman governor because he allowed the crowd to dictate the fate of Jesus. He should have been the one to determine if Jesus should receive any type of punishment, not the crowd. Mob rule will never foster a reasonable response or offer any proper type of solution. It seemed that Pilate had obeyed the command of the crowd.

Luke 23:23 (KJB)
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.

The crowd did not waste any time in continuing to demand the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus. The word “instant” carries with it the meaning of “insist or demand.” The word “requiring” carries with it the meaning of “repeat or demand repeatedly.” So they were continually repeating their desire to have Jesus crucified. Their loud voices and those of the chief priests had prevailed. The whole thrust of the matter is that because of their consistent and loud demanding, the people got what they wanted.

Luke 23:24 (KJB)
And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

Then Barabbas was finally released to the people and the crucifixion of Jesus had begun. Under Roman law a condemned prisoner is normally scourged with a special whip. This leather thongs contained pieces of metal which were at various intervals. It also contained bits of bone and pieces of bronze. Bronze is a very heavy metal and it would help drive the scourge deeper into the body causing extreme pain with every lash. It was a short whip designed intentionally for torture. The majority of the prisoners never made it to the cross because they died under the lash of the scourge, also known as a flagrum or flagellum.   Under the Jewish law a person could receive no more than 39 lashes but under Roman law there was no prescribed amount. The Roman lictor would oversee the flogging and could stop it at any time if they wanted the prisoner to live and face the cross. Jesus was scourged with this type of whip and it was also designed to cling on to the prisoner so when the executioner pulled it away, it would pull out large chunks of flesh exposing the ribs or other bones. Jesus received many lashes with this scourge but did not die from it because the lictor stopped it in time. Then when the scourging was over, Jesus was then handed over to the other executioners to be crucified on a cross.

Luke 23:25 (KJB)
And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

So finally after all the continual yelling, Pilate had acquiesced to the people’s demands and released to them Barabbas. (Mat 27:24 KJV) When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Pilate was probably so disgusted with this crowd that in his mind, by washing his hands and claiming innocence, he thought that the blame for the death of Jesus should be placed on the crowd. Pilate tried to appease his guilt but that would not have done it.