The chief priests and Jewish elders having condemned Jesus
Christ to death were not themselves able to carry out their sentence without
confirmation from the ruler of the region, the Roman governor in Judea. At
this time the Roman governor in Judea was Pontius Pilate.
On the occasion of the feast of Passover, Pilate
was in Jerusalem and was living not far from the Temple in the Praetorium, the house of the main court, the
praetor. In front of the praetor was built an open platform, which was called Lithostrotos,
and in Hebrew and Aramaic, Gabbatha.
Early in the morning, on Friday, the chief priests
and elders of the Jews led the bound Jesus Christ to trial before Pilate, so
that he could confirm the death sentence handed over to Jesus. But they
themselves did not enter the Praetorium in order not to defile themselves
before Passover by being in the house of a gentile.
Pilate came out to them on the Lithostrotos,
"the Pavement," and seeing the members of the Sanhedrin asked,
"What accusation do you bring against this man?"
They answered, "If this man were not an
evildoer, we would not have handed Him over to you."
Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and
judge Him by your own laws."
They said to him, "It is not lawful for us to
put any man to death;" and they began to accuse the Saviour saying,
"We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give
tribute to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ the King."
Pilate asked Jesus Christ, "Are you the King
of the Jews?"
Jesus Christ answered, "You have said
so" (which means, "Yes, I am King").
When the chief priests and the elders accused the
Saviour, He answered nothing. Pilate again asked Him, "Have you no answer
to make? See how many charges they bring against You."
But Jesus made no further answer, so Pilate
wondered in amazement. Pilate entered the Praetorium again and called Jesus,
asking Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
Jesus Christ answered, "Do you say this of
your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"
"Am I a Jew?" answered Pilate.
"Your own nation and the chief priests have handed You
over to me. What have You done?"
Jesus Christ answered, "My kingdom is not of
this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My
servants would fight that I might not be handed over to the Jews, but My
kingdom is not from here."
"So You are a
king?" asked Pilate.
Jesus Christ answered, "You say that I am a
king. For this, I was born; and for this, I have come into the world to bear
witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears My
From these words Pilate recognized that before him
stood a preacher of the truth, a teacher of the people, and not an agitator
against the power of Rome.
Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And
not waiting for an answer, he went out again to the Jews on the Lithostrotos
and told them, "I find no crime in this man."
The chief priests and elders were agitated saying,
"He stirs up the people teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even
Pilate having heard mention of Galilee
asked, "Is He in fact a Galilean?" When he learned that He belonged
to Herodís jurisdiction, he sent Him to the court of the Galilean King, Herod,
who by chance was himself in Jerusalem at that time. Pilate was glad to rid himself out of this
the Gospels of Matthew 27:2,11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-38.
Before King Herod.
The Galilean King, Herod Antipas, who had put John
the Baptist to death, had heard a great deal about Jesus Christ and had desired
to see Him for a long time. When they brought Jesus Christ to Him, he was very
glad, for he was hoping to see some miracle done by Him. Herod questioned Him
at some length, but the Lord made no answer. The chief priests and the sentries
stood vehemently accusing Him.
Then, Herod with his soldiers having treated Him
with contempt and mocked Him arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe as a sign of His
innocence and sent Him back to Pilate.
From that very day Pilate and Herod became
friends; for before this, they had been at enmity.
the Gospel of Luke 23:8-12.
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