Our gospel message is this: the innocent was sentenced and the guilty was freed. The enemy of our soul wages war against us all our life to try and manipulate that not to be the case. A watered down gospel to say that we are not guilty is not a gospel.
“Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.” (Matthew 27 v 15-18)
Barabbas was in prison (Mark says he was with the insurrectionists who had committed murder). He was a rebel, maybe even a rebel leader, against the Roman authorities. Maybe that is why the crowd would call for his release, he was their hero perhaps. Barabbas was facing a death sentence for sure. He was guilty and Jesus was innocent. The gospel writers all agree in contrasting the innocent Jesus with the guilty Barabbas. Jesus came and Barabbas would be set free. We know that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Barabbas was heading deservedly for the cross but he would be set free. We should be condemned but we are also set free into a life of no condemnation (Romans 8:1). We are guilty but Jesus took our place.