Jesus Before Pilate

After the trial before the Sanhedrin, one of the elders suggested that it would help if they brought along a crowd to shout against Jesus in the presence of Pilate. The little group of men marveled at the simplicity of this weapon. Whom would they get? They would requisition the services of the temple guards and the police force. Those who earned their living at the temple should work for its preservation. It did not matter what they believed, or even whether or not they were influenced by that story of Lazarus being raised from the dead ? they would do as they were told.

So it was decided to take along a large number of temple employees, and to have them shepherded by several priests. on the march through town to the Antonia fortress where Pilate lived, these people would press closely around the prisoner so that His disciples in Jerusalem could not get close to Him, or even properly see who the prisoner was. Then, at Antonia, the employees would take their cues from the priests, who would lead the shouting from the double arches of the fortress.

It was a bright, crisp morning in Jerusalem and the city was jammed with pilgrims coming in from all parts of the Diaspora for the Passover. Some of them looked curiously at the little procession  as it wound its way through the narrow, crowded streets. When they arrived at Antonia, Jesus was brought up slightly forward of the high priests. Across the big, broad court, Syrian soldiers in Roman uniforms lounged. A servant brought out a regal chair and the Procurator walked down the stairway and sat on the chair, placed on a stone landing. Jesus saw this through swollen, purple eyes. He stood with His wrists bound behind his back with a short rope. He stood alone, in front of the mob, and Pontius Pilate looked at Jesus for the first time. Behind Jesus and the high priests, the people jammed the arches, some even hanging from the wall?bracket lamps. The Procurator held his right hand aloft. In a few seconds, the babbling of the crowd subsided.

Now slowly read John 18:29-40 and Luke 23:5-7