Pilate’s Decision

Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”

6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”

7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”

11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. — John 19:5-16.

Meanwhile, the chief priest and officers call for Him to be crucified, which is not available in a Roman occupied country as a Jewish punishment, but only under Roman law for a breach of Roman law.

Pilate is now frightened that Jesus will be crucified under him for an alleged breach of Jewish law, and he is also frightened of the opposition of the Jews. Jesus tells him that he has no inherent power to crucify Him. Any power he has comes from above.

Pilate, known to be a hard and cruel man, acts feebly under the threat that it will be reported to Rome that he is no friend of Caesar’s. He sways to the pressure to have Jesus crucified under the chief priest’s cynical cry ‘We have no king but Caesar’. Jesus is led away to be slaughtered as God’s Passover lamb.
[Source: Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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