But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. (Mark 15:11)
The text says that the chief priests stirred up the crowd. Stirring is a great image. It’s like when you pour yourself a glass of iced tea – really cold – and dump in some sugar. Then you get up to get a cookie, and when you come back, the sugar is at the bottom of the glass. If you want a sweet drink, you have to take one of those long iced-tea spoons or a straw and stir it up. But you only get a sweet drink if there’s some sugar in the bottom. Something had to be there already for the chief priests to stir up. We’d like to think we wouldn’t get stirred up, and maybe we wouldn’t – I know I hope I wouldn’t - but in truth, everybody has some sediment at the bottom of the glass.