How did Jesus meet rejection? For three and a half years, He had completely given His life to doing good, to forgiving sin, to delivering demon-oppressed people, to healing sickness. At the end of that period, the Roman ruler offered a choice to Jesus’ own people, the Jews. He was willing to release from prison either Jesus of Nazareth or a criminal named Barabbas, who was guilty of political insurrection and murder.
By one of the most amazing and tragic decisions in all of human history, the people rejected Jesus and chose Barabbas. So, the mob cried out, “Away with Jesus! Crucify Him! We don’t want Him. We’ll have Barabbas, the rebel and the murderer.”
In response, Jesus prayed for those who had crucified Him:
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.