Bluetooth technology, which unites wireless devices, is named after the king that united the Danish tribes into one nation, and introduced them to Christianity, a king whose nickname was King Bluetooth. This made him a good illustration of our King, who united us when He saved us and introduced us to Christianity. Our King is on trial for His life here in John 18:37, but when asked if He were a king, He answers cagily. He knew He wouldn’t have a kingdom till His second coming.
Of course, Pilate knows nothing about a second coming, and couldn’t grasp the concept of a king whose subjects wouldn’t fight to protect their king (v.36), so he presses the Lord. He responds by saying He was born to bear witness to truth, not raise up an army to protect Himself, and that all who were of the truth heard His voice and joined His kingdom.
Pilate must have thought that the Lord was taking a shot at him for not being a king who would bear witness to the truth of the Lord’s innocence, so he retorted, “What is truth?” (v.38). He’d heard so many lying defendants and conniving prosecutors he couldn’t be sure who was truth-fully innocent, and he wasn’t about to anger this mob just because he thought the Lord was innocent. You can tell he really didn’t want to know what the truth was, though, for he asked the question and quickly left the Lord to tell the Jews he found no fault in Him.
He then reminded the Jews that if they thought the Lord was guilty of something that they had a custom where he could release guilty men. He said this because He knew they were just envious of Him (Mt.27:17,18), and wanted to release Him. If you think envy is just a little sin, notice how the littlest of sins can lead to the greatest of sins!
Matthew tells us that Pilate reminded them of the prisoner release program because of his wife’s dream (27:18,19). People wonder if God gave her this dream. He sometimes spoke to unbelievers in dreams (Gen.20:3; 31:24), but would He tell her this in a dream? Didn’t He want the Lord to die for us? Well yes, He did, but He has never wanted any man to do wrong, even if it suited His purpose. He knew Pilate would condemn Him, but may have told him not to do so in this dream, just as He knew Pharaoh wouldn’t let Israel go, but told Moses to tell him to let them go (Ex.3:18,19). We can’t say God ever wants men to do evil, or they would have an excuse on Judgment Day.
Robbers were considered terrible people (Job 30:5), but they cried for one over the Lord (John 18:40), a murdering, insurrectionist thief (Mark 15:7). Barabbas was a type of the Antichrist, who will be a murderer (Rv.13:15,16) and an insurrectionist (Dn.7:25), who will steal the kingdom as Absalom did, with flattery (IISam.15:3-6; Dn.11:21). In this, he will be like his father the devil, who committed insurrection against the king of the world when he murdered him (John 8:44) when he caused him to disobey Genesis 2:17, thereby stealing his kingdom.
Barabbas means “son of the father, making him a type of Antichrist, who will claim to be the Son of the Father, Israel’s Christ. In crying for him over the Lord, the Jews typified how Israel will cry for Antichrist, a thief and a robber (John 10:10), over Christ. Matthew calls Barabbas a “notable” thief (27:16), just as a “notable” king will produce Antichrist (Dan.8:5-9).
The Jews chose a murderer (Acts 3:14,15) and were perse-cuted to death for the next 2,000 years, rather than choosing “the prince of life” who could have given them life eternal. What a picture of the Tribulation, when the Jews will choose Antichrist, who will give them death for eternity.
Maybe you’ve been thinking Barrabbas is a type of us. He deserved to die, but the Lord died for him. We deserve to die, but He died for us. That’s true, but did He also die for Antichrist’s sins? See Hebrews 2:9! If you think you can’t be saved because you’ve sinned too greatly, you haven’t sinned greater than Antichrist! So “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved! (Acts 16:31)