Pilate and Herod
We know little of Pilate's early life. Tradition from a German legend says that he was an illegitimate son of Tyrus, king of Mayence, who sent him to Rome as a hostage. While there he committed murder, whereupon he was sent to Pontus where he subdued an uprising against Rome. Honoring him for this Roman favor, they named him Pontius Pilate and Sent him to Judea as procurator, to represent Tiberius Caesar in the year 26 A.D.

Josephus reports of Pilate's first encounter with the Jews in Jerusalem. He took his soldiers who bore their standards, which they erected in Jerusalem. This was an intimidation to the Jews that almost resulted in armed conflict. Pilate submitted to Jewish pressure and sent the men and their standards back to Caesarea. (Josephus. Ant., XVIII 3, 12: War, II, 9, 2-4).

Pilate encountered Jesus early on the morning of the Jewish passover. The priests would not enter the judgment hall of a Gentile lest they be rendered unfit for the Passover meal, yet they, bringing Jesus to the procurator, accused him of being worthy of death.

Pilate's sense of justice demanded a clearly stated accusation against the accused whereupon the Jews hastily formulated loud and noisy accusation indicating that he had stirred the populous with claims of being a king.

Privately Pilate inquired of Jesus about his claim to kingship. His kingdom was not of this world Pilate learned of him. His kingdom was one of truth about which Pilate also inquired, even though he did not remain sufficiently long to learn of truth.

Pilate struggled with both legal and devious methods to release one whom he and his wife both considered to be just.

He withstood most pressures, but the Jews hit the raw nerve of his anxiety when they jeopardized his relationship with Caesar Tiberius. Thus, he washed his hands in hypocritical innocence and gave orders for Jesus to be crucified.
ASSIGNMENT: Matthew 27:2-31, 62-66; Mark 15:1-20; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28, 19:5-22.
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