Jesus, Barabbas and the People: The Climax of Luke’s Trial Narrative and Lukan Christology (Luke 23.13-25)

07 Aug 2017

This article argues that the nuance and function given to the Barabbas pericope in Luke’s trial narrative differs significantly from that expressed by the other evangelists. It submits that Luke depicts Jesus’ death to be the result of a substitution between the acquitted Jesus and the insurrectionist and murderer Barabbas. Furthermore, the third evangelist has crafted his trial narrative so as to highlight the representative nature of this death, thereby developing Jesus’ narrative identity as the Messiah. It is concluded that Luke’s crafting of his trial narrative raises questions for the prevalent view that the third evangelist has not integrated the idea of substitution into his understanding of Jesus’ death.