A modern English blending of the New Testament

Table of Contents



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23


Gospel Index

Charles Templeton Home

Anecdotal Memoir

Brad Templeton Home
Brad's Photo Pages

Brad's Panoramic Photos

RHF Home


Jesus - A blending of the New Testament - Ch. 22 - Trial before Pilate
Previous [21] Next [23]




Jesus on trial before pilate  -  he is send to Herod  -  the choice: Jesus or Barabbas  -  the sentence of crucifixion  -  Judas remorse and suicide.


Dawn. Caiaphas reconvened the meeting and discussed with the chief priests, the scribes, and other members of the council what steps they should take to have Jesus executed. When the meeting concluded, it was early morning on the day of the Preparation for the Passover. They had Jesus brought to them, adjourned, and marched him to the praetorium. They would not go in because they wanted to eat the Passover meal later and did not want to be ceremonially defiled. Pilate came out to them.

"What crime is he charged with?" Pilate asked.

"If he weren't a criminal we wouldn't have brought him before you," they replied. "He's been corrupting our people. He has told them not to pay taxes to Caesar and he claims to be a king."

"Go judge him by your own laws," Pilate said.

"But we do not have the authority to pronounce the death sentence," they said - which fulfilled a prediction Jesus had made about the way he would be executed.

Pilate went into the courthouse and had Jesus brought before him.

"Are you the king of the Jews?" he asked

"Is that your own question," Jesus said, "or did others suggest you ask me that?"

"What do you take me for?" Pilate said. "Am I a Jew? You've been brought before me by your own people and by their chief priests. Why? What's your crime?"

"If I were the king of some country," Jesus said, "my servants would have fought to keep me from being arrested. But I'm not - my kingdom is elsewhere."

"You are a king then?"

"Exactly as you say; I am. That's why I was born. That's why I came to the world - to be a witness for truth. And everyone on the side of truth heeds what I say."

"Truth!" Pilate said. "What's truth?"

The governor went outside to where the crowd was waiting.

"I dont find him guilty of any crime," he said.

They were insistent. "He's been stirring up the people." they shouted. "Everywhere in Judea and all the way to Galilee, he's made nothing but trouble with his teaching."

Pilate turned to Jesus. "Don't You hear these charges? Have you nothing to say?" Jesus remained silent and Pilate, who had been studying him, was puzzled.

He had heard the reference to Galilee though, and he asked whether Jesus was a Galilean and therefore under Herod's jurisdiction. Learning that he was, he sent him to Herod who happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted. He had heard about Jesus and for some time had wanted very much to meet him, hoping to see him perform a miracle. He questioned him at length but - although the chief priests and the scribes stood off to one side shouting accusations - got no response. Finally Herod and his soldiers began to ridicule him and to make sport of him and, after dressing him in a fancy robe, sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies, became friends that day.

Each year during the Passover it was the governor's custom to declare an amnesty and to release any prisoner chosen by the people. It was now clear to Pilate that the chief priests had brought Jesus before him out of envy. He was concerned further because, earlier, when he had been seated on the Seat of Judgment, his wife had send a note to him. It read: "Don't get involved with this man. He's innocent. I had a frightening dream about him this morning."

Pilate summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people.

"You brought this man Jesus before me," he said, "charging him with corrupting the people. I have examined him in your presence and have found no grounds for your accusations. Nor has Herod, for he has sent him back to me. Now, as you know, we have a custom. Every year at this time I release a prisoner to you. I shall therefore have Jesus flogged and released."

There was in prison at that time a notorious criminal, a brigand by the name of Barabbas. With a number of confederates, he had been found guilty of murder during an insurrection. The chief priests and the elders had been busy inciting the crowd to demand Barabbas' release and Jesus' death.

"Shall I release the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked the crowd.

"Release Barabbas, not Jesus," they shouted. "Let Barabbas go."

"Then what shall I do with Jesus?" he said.

"Crucify him!"

"But why? For what crime? I find him guilty of nothing deserving the death penalty."

The roar of the crowd grew louder."Crucify him!"

It was clear to Pilate that he was getting nowhere and that the mob was ready to riot. He took a basin of water and publicly washed his hands.

"I accept none of the responsibility for this innocent man's death," he said.

"His blood be on us and on our children," they shouted.

Their shouts carried the day. Pilate ordered Barbbas released and sentenced Jesus to be flogged and turned over to the soldiers for crucifixion.

The soldiers marched him off to the courtyard and gath ered the regiment. 'I'hey stripped off his clothes, flogged him, and cast a purple robe around his shoulders. They twisted the branches of a thorn bush into the form of a crown and jammed it on his head. They shoved a stick into his right hand as a mock sceptre and began to make fun of him, kneeling in front of him and chanting "Hail! King of the Jews!" Then they struck him on the head with the stick, slapped his face, and spat on him.

Pilate went out before the people again.

"Look," he said, "I bring this man before you once more so that it may clearly be understood that I don't find him guilty."

Out came Jesus with the crown of thorns on his head and wearing the purple robe.

"Look at him," Pilate said.

"Crucify him!" they shouted.

"Crucify him yourselves. As far as I can judge, he's innocent."

"But he's made himself out to be God's son and our law says for that he must die."

Pilate's uneasiness deepened. He led Jesus back into the courthouse.

"Where are you from?" he asked.

Jesus didn't answer.

"You refuse to answer me? Don't you realize that I have the power to execute you or to pardon you?"

"You wouldn't have any power over me if it hadn't been given to you from above. That's why your guilt is less than his who handed me over to you."

All of this made Pilate even more anxious to let him go.

But the people would have none of it. "Let him go and you're no friend of Caesar's," they shouted. "Anyone who sets himself up as a king is Caesar's rival."

It was now about noon. Pilate sat down on the judgment seat in the place known as "The Pavement" and had Jesus brought out.

"I present your king," he said.

"To the cross with him! Crucify him!"

"Crucify your king?"

"Caesar's our king. We have no other king."

Pilate handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers made sport of him, took off the purple robe, dressed him in his own clothes, and marched him out to be crucified.

When Judas saw that Jesus had been condemned to die, he had a change of heart. He took the thirty silver coins and went to the chief priest and the elders.

"I have sinned," he said. "I've betrayed an innocent man!"

"What's that to us?" they said. "That's your problem."

He went to the temple and threw the coins to the floor. Then he went to some property he had planned to buy with the money and commited suicide.

The chief priests now had the money and held a meeting to decied what to do with it.

"Put it in the treasury," someone suggested.

"We can't. It wouldn't be legal. It's blood-money."

They decied to take the money and buy a field owned by a potter and to use the area as a burial ground for those who died without relatives. The place become famous in Jerusalem and is known to this day as "The Field of Blood."

All of the this fulfilled a prediction by the prophet Jeremiah:

They took the thirty silver coins,
The price of him on whome a price had been set
By some of Israel's sons,
And they paid it out for potter's field
As God commanded we do.

Previous [21] Next [23]