Capitulating to the mob, Pilate ordered Jesus' death.
Even one of the mob's victims, a thief being crucifi ed alongside Jesus, joined the mob's taunting, saying to Jesus, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." The other thief rebuked him, noting that they were guilty, whereas Jesus was not. He said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." And Jesus said "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."22
Pilate gave in to the mob out of fear. The thief joined the mob to side with the majority. The mob itself was driven by envy.
Although it all worked out in the end -- Jesus died, darkness fell over the Earth, the ground trembled, and the temple veil was ripped in two, and three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, giving all people the promise of everlasting life -- here was the stark choice, to be repeated like Nietzsche's eternal recurrence: Jesus or Barabbas?
Liberals say Barabbas: Go with the crowd. C'mon, everybody's doing it -- it's cool. Now let's go mock Jesus. (As is so often the case, the mob said, "Kill the Jew.")
Conservatives -- sublimely uninterested in the opinion of the mob -- say Jesus.