Who do you identify with in the Passion narratives?
Of course, as good Christians, we say Jesus. He’s the good guy, our protagonist. As we relive the story, we pull for him, and against his enemies. And a long list of enemies it is: Judas who betrays him, Peter who denies him, the chief priests who hate him, Herod who mocks him, the crowd that calls for his crucifixion, Pilate who washes his hands and condemns him, and Barrabas who is guilty but gets to go free.
Wait a minute.
Barrabas—the guilty one who gets to go free?
In his 23rd chapter, Luke leads us sinners, in his careful wording of the narrative, to identify in this significant way with Barrabas. As Jesus’ cond…