Christ bends, protects his groin. Thorns gouge his forehead, and his legs are stippled with dried blood. The part of us that's Pilate says, Behold the man. We glare at that bound, lashed, and bloody part of us that's Christ. We laugh, we howl, we shout. Give us Barabbas, not knowing who Barabbas is, not caring. A thief? We'll take him anyway. A drunk? A murderer? Who cares? It's better him than this pale ravaged thing, this god. Bosch knows. His humans waver, laugh, then change to demons as if they're seized by epilepsy. It spreads from eye to eye, from laugh to laugh until, incited by the ease of going mad, they go. How easy evil is! Dark voices sing, You can be evil or you can be good, but good is dull, my darling, good is dull. And we're convinced: How lovely evil is! How lovely hell must be! Give us Barabbas!
Lord Pilate clears his throat and tries again: I find no fault in this just man. It's more than we can bear. In gothic script our answer floats above our upturned eyes. O crucify, we sing. O crucify him!