Summary of passages: Matthew 27:11-31: Pilate now questions Jesus and lays out the charges against him. Jesus only answers one questions, acknowledging he is the king of the Jews. Following custom, Pilate allows the crowd to release one prisoner at Passover. Pilate’s wife warns him to not to have anything to do with Jesus because she had a bad dream about him. But the Sanhedrin convinces the crowd to release Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asks why because Jesus is innocent but the crowd is insistent. So Pilate washes his hands of the crime and the people take responsibility. He then flogs Jesus.
Pilate’s soldiers stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe upon him and a crown of thorns on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. They spit on him and hit him over the head with the staff. Then they removed the robe and put his won clothes back on him. Then they led him away to be crucified.
Luke 23:1-12: The Sanhedrin marches Jesus off to Pilate, saying he is subverting the nation by opposing paying taxes to Caesar and claiming to be the Messiah. Jesus admits to being the king of the Jews. Pilate admits there are no crimes against him. The crowd insisted. Pilate learns he is a Galilean so Pilate hands him over to Herod to deal with. Herod was eager to question Jesus since he had heard so much about him and was hoping to see a miracle but Jesus refused to answer.
Finally, Herod ridicules and mocks Jesus. They dress him in a robe and send him back to Pilate. Pilate and Herod become friends.
11a) Herod wanted Jesus to perform a miracle. Jesus said nothing to Herod.
b) Herod killed John the Baptist.
c) He was curious. He believed Jesus performed miracles and he wanted to know more. That’s why he kept John the Baptist alive as well. He was intrigued by their teachings of God and Jesus.
d) Personal Question. My answer: If you come to Jesus just seeking a miracle for the sake of seeing a miracle, you won’t get it. If you come to Jesus asking for a miracle when you don’t believe or accept him, you won’t get it either. Jesus won’t answer you if your heart is wrong.
12a) Pilate says so: Luke 23:4: “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
He repeats his conclusions in Luke 23:13: “I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod…He has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
Luke 23:20: “Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them [the people] again.”
Luke 23:22: “For the third time, he [Pilate] spoke to the them [the people] ‘I have found no grounds for the death penalty.'”
Matthew 27:23: Pilate says to the crowd who calls for his crucifixion “Why? What crime has he committed?”
Matthew 27:24: Pilate washes his hands in front of the crowd and says “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your responsibility.”
Pilate’s wife believed him innocent as well. Matthew 27:19: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man.”
John 18:38: Pilate says “I find on basis for a charge against him.”
John 19:4: Pilate says again “I find no basis for a charge against him.
John 19:12: “From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting.”
Mark 15:14: Pilate asks the crowd who wants Jesus crucified, “Why? What crime has he committed?”
b) Out of envy Matthew 27:18 & Mark 15:10
c) Because if Jesus was a king, he would be opposing Caesar and that was a crime justifying death. Mark says specifically that Pilate only hands over Jesus for execution to please the crowd (Mark 15:15).
In my opinion from reading all the passages, I would say Pilate executed Jesus to please the crowds. During Passover, there were thousands of Jews in Jerusalem–more than the number of Roman soldiers. The crowd could have easily turned into a rebellion and overpowered the soldiers.
He was probably also tired of trying to reason with crowd mentality where reason does not exist. So he gave in in order to prevent violence. I actually did a post on how Jesus was killed by crowd mentality a while back. You can read that HERE
The fact of the matter is no one person killed Jesus. We did. With our sins. He had to die to save us. We are all responsible.
d) Personal Question. My answer: The amazing love God has for us to send his son to die for us sinners so He can be with us. Jesus was innocent. We are the guilty ones. Yet now we can live. Amazing!
Conclusions: Not for sure why BSF did not have us finish reading the whole Luke passage of Jesus with Pilate especially in light of question 12a where we see Pilate 3 times beg for Jesus’ life but the people were insistent. Ironic how a lot of people believe it was Pilate and the Romans that killed Jesus when in reality it was the Jews and the very people Jesus came to save.
Jesus actually appeared before Pilate 2 times. BSF here had us read the first time Jesus appeared before Pilate in Luke. Keep reading Luke and you will read the second time he appears before Pilate which is what Matthew records. Matthew records the 2nd time only and not the first. Hence why BSF has us comparing the first with the second is baffling to me instead of the second with the second. Read all of Luke and you’ll get the full picture.
Not for sue why BSF did not have us read Mark’s version either of these events especially in light of question 12c where Mark’s reasoning is different than John’s. I would recommend reading it (Mark 15:1-20).
I can imagine this is only a tiny bit of what happened on that day that is recorded. I’d love to have more details, wouldn’t you?
We killed Jesus. With our sins. I think if we truly absorbed that fact into our souls we’d all be better people.
To this day, our sins sadden God. He wants so much for us. So much He’d kill his only Son. We should all meditate on that fact, absorb its meaning, and be more like Jesus. For God’s sake if not for our own.
End Notes: Let’s remember how Pilate first sees Jesus: beaten and bloodied (Matthew 26:67)–nothing like a king that the Jews are accusing him of being. Pilate probably thought the Sanhedrin was wasting his time and had hoped to be done with this quickly.
Instead the governor was amazed that Jesus would stood in defied silence. Whereas most people facing death would defend themselves and do anything to save their lives, Jesus stood. God was Jesus’ defense.
I can only imagine the presence Jesus had. I’m sure when he walked into a room, all eyes would land upon him. There had to be something about him, something majestic and holy, that would draw you to him. Would have been a sight to see!
Telling the power of the Sanhedrin when they convince the people to release Barabbas who is a revolutionist murderer who tried to overthrow Rome (Mark 15:7). That was the power of the religious rulers of that day (and the power of false prophets then and now). Why we should all be thankful that we live in a democracy (those of us that do). So that innocent people aren’t executed without cause.
Can you imagine Pilate’s wife’s dream? It must have been powerful for her to send a message to her husband. This was God’s mercy in play, trying to spare Pilate eternal hell. He rejected it as so many do.
The fact that the Jews themselves would chose crucifixion (a Roman invention the Jews absolutely hated) speaks to the evilness of man.
The name Barabbas means “the son of the father” in Hebrew (Good Bible references on Barabbas HERE. Note “abba” in his name.). The people were fooled and chose the wrong Son. Like so many do today. And they will when they embrace the anti-Christ in the future. Jesus took the cross for Barabbas. And us.
In the end, Pilate was a coward who denied Jesus justice. He kowtowed to the rabble and thus went down in infamy. He washed his hands but not his soul. He alone held the power to save Jesus as the representative of Rome and he turned away. How God’s heart must have broke at that moment.
Ironic how the crowd asked for Jesus’ blood–which is what we all must ask for to be saved. They were saving themselves and didn’t even know it. Only God can work in such ways.
This same crowd had hailed Jesus only a few days before and cried “Hosanna!” (Save) is now crying “Crucify!” (Die). If only they had known….
Notes on Scourging: In Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus this is described in depth (as well as crucifixion). The NIV calls this flogging but this was beyond normal flogging. The Romans scourged every one except women and Roman citizens who were sentenced to die on the cross. This entailed a whip with multiple strips of leather that had bone shards or metal at the end. These cut into the skin and muscle and caused massive blood loss, weakening the prisoner and causing death in some cases. The goal was to extract a confession. When the confession was gained, the blows would lessen and stop. Jesus, having nothing to confess, remained silent. Hence, his beating never lessened.
Picture of Scouraging HERE
Picture of Crucifixion HERE
Description and Pictures of Praetorium HERE
Life of Pilate HERE and HERE
On Lesson 27, Day 2 we were asked how Jesus was humiliated. I answered just by his disciples forsaking him. Here, is where the real humiliation took place (Matthew 27:27-31). The whole company of soldiers watched as Jesus was stripped naked. This is a culture where everyone wore a lot of clothes. Skin was hardly shown. Most wore robes to the ground and had sleeves. Most were in layers. To expose body parts was considered indecent. So stripping Jesus when he would have been used to being fully clothed all the time would have been devastating.
Scarlet was the color reserved for royalty and the elite. In Rome, only the emperor could wear purple because it was the most expensive color cloth at the time. Scarlet as well was a deep red, again, an expensive color to make. This was meant to mock Jesus as well.
Most rulers wore crowns. The crown of thorns would have bloodied Jesus immediately.
Most rulers carried ornate, intricately-carved scepters as a symbol of their power. Here, Jesus is handed a reed, a stiff grass similar to bamboo. Then the soldiers beat him with the reed. They stripped him again and led him away. Does man get any crueler than this? To literally spit in God’s face, humiliate Him, and beat Him. Should bring us all to our knees…
Side Note: How did Matthew hear of this scene anyways when it was only observed by the Roman soldiers? Had to have been from one of the soldiers himself. Makes one wonder if Matthew did interviews for his book like they do today or if a Roman soldier, having witnessed this, came to Christ. Another question for heaven!