3.4.9.4 Jesus before Pilate and Herod

The Jews led Jesus to the residence of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, a place which devout Jews would not enter in order to avoid being defiled (John 18: 28). Jesus, however, had to enter the court house.

During His hearing before Pilate, Jesus made it clear that His kingdom was not of this world and that He did not pursue any worldly claims to power. Pontius Pilate found no fault in Jesus and sent Him to King Herod. It was on this day that Herod and Pontius Pilate, who had previously been enemies, became friends (Luke 23: 12). The worldly powers thus united against the Lord.

The Son of God was scourged by the Romans. The people demanded He be crucified and accused Him of having risen up against the emperor as the King of the Jews, a crime punishable by death (John 19: 12). Pilate saw a way of granting Jesus His freedom: the people were to decide whether Jesus or the criminal Barabbas should be set free. The people, incited by the high priests and elders, chose Barabbas, however. In order to demonstrate that he was not responsible for what was to follow, Pilate washed his hands before the people and said: "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it." The people replied: "His blood be on us and on our children" (Matthew 27: 24-25). Then Pontius Pilate had Jesus scourged once more, and turned Him over to the soldiers to be crucified.

On account of the Roman governor's involvement, the conviction and execution of Jesus was no longer only a matter concerning the Jews. Gentiles had also become part of it. In short, all of mankind is guilty of the death of the Lord.

See also