And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
Matthew 27:16, 17,18 KJV]
The scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders, desired the chief seats in the synagogue and to be called 'Rabbi, Rabbi' and to be greeted in the market place. This was their motivation in religion - pride and self-righteousness.
When Messiah came to take the kingdom they said (in effect, as Jesus' parable recounts), This is the heir, come, let us kill him.
They envied his heritage, his inheritance, his position and his person.
And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. [Luke 20:19 KJV]