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Barabbas is the acquitted; the fellow whose existence used to be exchanged for that of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified upon the hill of Golgotha. Barabbas is a guy condemned to don't have any god. "Christos Iesus" is carved at the disk suspended from his neck, yet he can't verify his religion. He can't pray. He can simply say, "I are looking to believe."
Translated from the Swedish by way of Alan Blair
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They obviously had more strength left. He hadn't even the strength to hold his head up; it had flopped right down. Now he did raise it a bit, all the same; the lean, hairless chest heaved with panting, and his tongue licked his parched lips. He groaned something about being thirsty. The soldiers who were sprawled over a game of dice a little further down the slope, bored because the men hanging there took so long to die, did not hear. But one of the relatives went down and told them. A soldier got up reluctantly and dipped a sponge in a pitcher, passing it up to him on a stick, but when he tasted the fusty, tainted liquid offered him he did not want it.
Barabbas had got to his feet and was standing with his back turned so that his face was no longer visible. —Get thee hence, thou reprobate! they said to him fiercely. And pulling his mantle about him, Barabbas walked off down the street alone without looking back. The girl with the hare-lip was unable to sleep. She lay looking up at the stars and thought of what was soon to come to pass. No, she did not want to fall asleep, she wanted to keep watch this night. She was lying on some twigs and straw she had gathered in a hollow outside the Dung Gate, and around her she could hear the sick groaning and moving restlessly in their sleep and the tinkle of the leper's bells, the one who sometimes got up and walked about because of the pain.
But surely that can't be true, it's almost enough to make one afraid. I would really much rather he came back as he was. Barabbas was quite worked up. —How can they talk like that! he burst out. The son of God! The son of God crucified! Don't you see that's impossible! —I said that it can't be true. And I'll gladly say it again if you like. —What sort of lunatics are they who believe that? Barabbas went on, and the scar under his eye turned dark red, as it always did when there was anything the matter.