…So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, "Behold, the man!" When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!"…
They cried out again, "Not this one but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a revolutionary…
And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your king!" They cried out, "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified…
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe… (Jn 18,1-19,42)
The reading presents a long narration of the passion and death of Jesus. The passion narrative gives a continuous flow of events. As the events take place, the narratives show the choice one makes. In two instances Pilot forces the people to make a choice.
In the first instance Jesus is brought in front of the people and the people are made to choose between Barabbas and Jesus. Jesus stands in par with a revolutionary. A revolutionary fights for a cause keeping the people in mind. He takes up the role of a leader. He gathers force from among the people. As a revolutionary Jesus fails. And the people are not for Jesus. People should have supported Jesus if they had seen in him a revolutionary (at least like Barabbas). So Jesus is not accepted as a leader from the grass-root.
The second choice is between Caesar and Jesus. Here Jesus is presented as king. King is a leader (not chosen by the people) but born of royal family. People choose Caesar to Jesus. People are happy with external leadership. They are happy with earthly leader. So Jesus fails again as a leader.
Since people do not accept Jesus, as a leader, he is condemned to death. He is crucified. As the gospel writer presents, God chooses Jesus, because the scriptures are fulfilled in Jesus. People have not chosen him. God has done it.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe. The gospel writer presents himself as an eye witness and he speaks the truth. If we have believed all that he has said so far in his writings (the miracles, parables, and teachings) then we are in line with his writings. Now he presents him as Son of God and his testimony is true. The reader is asked to believe in Jesus.
Jesus is the Son of God; he was rejected by his own people; he was crucified; God chose him. So believe in him.