There is a textual problem in Matt 27:16 & 17 as to whether the name of the criminal was just "Barabbas" or "Jesus Barabbas". The USB5 regards the most probable reading as "Jesus Barabbas" but is far from certain. For the extensive reference, see UBS5.
For the sake of this question, let us assume that the correct text is "Jesus Barabbas". The irony of the choice between "Jesus Barabbas" and "Jesus Christ the Son of the Father" is total.
"Jesus" is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew "Joshua" which means "the LORD is salvation", or "The LORD saves". There is a direct reference to this in Matt 1:21 -
She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus,d
because He will save His people from their sins.”
Barabbas is Aramaic for "Son of my Father" or "Son of the Father".
Christ is the Greek for "anointed one". The word "Messiah" is Hebrew with the same meaning.
Pilate was no fool and understood this well and mocked the Jews by putting a stark question to them:
Do you want me to release to you either:
- Jesus Barabbas [= The savior who is the son of the father] - and a criminal who had been involved in a political insurrection, John 18:40.
- Jesus Christ [= The Savior who is the Anointed One, who is also the Son of the Father, 2 John 3] - a man (John 19:5) who was holy, innocent, blameless, set apart from sinners (Heb 7:26)
To complete the irony, Pilate set a sign over the cross.
Pilate also had a notice posted on the cross. It read: JESUS OF
NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. (John 19:19)
Thus, when the Jews insisted that Barabbas be released and Jesus be crucified, they selected a false messiah and crucified the true Messiah.