The chief priest and elders, however, had persuaded the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. Matthew 27:20
During my morning worship, I couldn’t help but to be struck by this verse. The jealousy of the religious leadership would rather preserve a criminal element that does not threaten their status than an innocent (indeed divine) presence that would upset their positions. It is this corrupt force that is able to do two things that kill the truth. First, it stirs up a large crowd of the ill-informed. Jesus is not tried before a jury of his peers with any sort of fair representation with the crowd kept away from propaganda that would prejudice their thinking. No, it is the self-centered religious leadership that persuades the crowd to call for the release of Barabbas and execution of Jesus. “If the chief priest and scribes want him killed, it must be for our good. After all, they are the guardians of the faith.”
With the ill-informed masses brainwashed, this corrupt force then forces the hand of government to do its will. Government does not stay in power on might alone. It also appeases popular opinion no matter how uniformed it may be. If the innocent is insignificant in wealth or power, it can be thrown to the will of the masses so that government can have peace.
Capitalism vs Socialism? That argument is a sideshow compared to the struggle between the indulgent vs. the innocent. The corrupt force of the selfish religious leadership brings true death to a nation as the people blindly follow their chief priest and scribes and government follows the popular opinion.