When they again brought the Lord Jesus Christ to Pilate, a
large crowd of people, chiefs, and elders had already gathered there. Pilate
then called together the chief priests, rulers, and the people saying to them,
"You brought me this Man as One Who was perverting the people; and after
examining Him before you, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges
against Him. I sent Him to Herod, and Herod also found nothing done by Him to
deserve death. I will therefore chastise and release Him."
The Jews had the custom at the feast of Passover
of releasing to the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. Pilate using this
occasion said to the people, "You have the custom that at Passover I
should release to you one prisoner. Do you want me to release for you the King
of the Jews?" Pilate was sure that the people would ask for Jesus because
he perceived that it was out of envy and malice that the chief priests had
delivered Him up.
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his
wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man, for I
have suffered much over Him today in a dream."
In the meantime, the chief priests and the elders
stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release to them Barabbas. Barabbas was a
notorious criminal, who had been thrown into prison with his companions for an
insurrection started in the city and for murder.
Then, the people, persuaded by the elders, began
to shout, "Release to us Barabbas!"
Pilate desiring to release Jesus addressed them
once more, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you: Barabbas or
Jesus, called Christ?"
They all shouted, "Not Him, but
Then, Pilate asked them, "Then, what shall I
do with Jesus, Who is called Christ?"
They shouted, "Let Him be
Pilate again said to them, "Why, what evil
has He done? I have found no crime deserving death; I will therefore chastise
Him and release Him."
But they shouted all the more, "Crucify Him!
Let Him be crucified!"
Then, Pilate, thinking he could arouse compassion
from the people for Christ, ordered the soldiers to scourge Him. The soldiers
led Jesus Christ to the courtyard, stripped Him, and cruelly beat Him. Then,
they arrayed Him in a purple robe (a short purple robe without sleeves and fastened
on the right shoulder), placed a plaited crown of thorns on His head, and put
in His right hand a reed instead of the royal scepter. They began to mock Him.
They knelt down in homage before Him and said, "Hail, King of the
Jews!" They spat on Him and, taking the reed, struck Him on His head and
After this Pilate led Him to the Jews and said,
"Behold, I bring Him out to you that you may know that I find no crime in
Him." So Jesus Christ came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple
robe. Pilate said to them "Here is the Man!" With these words, Pilate
meant to say, "Look at how He is tortured and disgraced," thinking
that the Jews would take pity on Him. But not such were the enemies of Christ.
When the chief priests and officers saw Jesus Christ, they cried out,
"Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and
crucify Him, for I find no crime in Him."
The Jews answered him, "We have a law; and by
that law, He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God."
When Pilate heard these words, he was even more
frightened. He entered the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?"
But the Saviour gave him no answer.
Pilate therefore said to Him, "You will not
speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release You
and power to crucify You?"
Then, Jesus Christ answered, "You would have
no power over Me unless it had been given you from
above; therefore, he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." After
this Pilate more vigorously sought to release Jesus Christ.
But the Jews cried out, "If you release this
Man, you are not Caesar’s friend; everyone who makes himself a king sets
himself against Caesar." When Pilate heard these words, he decided it was
better to condemn an innocent man to death than to risk the danger of royal
disgrace before the Emperor.
Then, Pilate brought Jesus Christ out and sat down
on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement and said to the Jews,
"Here is your King!"
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."
Pilate seeing that he was gaining nothing but rather that a riot was beginning,
took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent
of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves" (let the blame fall on you).
All the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" Thus the Jews invoked
upon themselves and their descendants responsibility for the death of the Lord
Jesus Christ, unless they repent. Then, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and
delivered Jesus Christ to them to be crucified.
the Gospels of Matthew, 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-40
The Road to Golgotha.
Since Jesus Christ was condemned to be crucified,
He was handed over to the soldiers. Again, they beat, insulted, and mocked Him.
After they had made fun of Him, they took off the purple robe and dressed Him
in His own clothing. The condemned person had to carry his own cross to the
place of crucifixion; thus, the soldiers laid the cross on the shoulders of the
Saviour and led Him to the place intended for crucifixion. The place was a
hill, which was called Golgotha or the place of the skull. Golgotha was
situated west of Jerusalem not far from the city gate called the Judgment Gate.
A great multitude of people followed Him. The road
was hilly. Exhausted by beating and lashing, worn out by spiritual suffering,
Jesus Christ could hardly walk and several times fell from the weight of the
cross. When they went out of the city gate where the road began to go uphill,
Jesus Christ was unable to continue carrying the cross. The soldiers came upon
a man who was compassionately watching Christ. It was Simon, a Cyrenian,
returning from work in the country. The soldiers seized him and compelled him
to carry the cross of Christ.
Among the people who followed Christ were many
women who wept and lamented for Him. Jesus Christ turning to them said,
"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me but
weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold the days are coming when
they will say, ‘Blessed are the women who never had children.’ Then, they will
begin to say to the mountains: fall on us, — and to the hills: cover us."
Thus, the Lord predicted the terrifying
misfortune, which would befall Jerusalem and the Jewish people soon after His earthly life.
the Gospel of Matthew 27:27-32; Mark 15:16-21; Luke 23:26-32; John 19:16-17.
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