Mark 15:1-15 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the
teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound
Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,”
Jesus replied. 3 The chief priests
accused him of many things. 4 So
again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they
are accusing you of.” 5 But Jesus
still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people
requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the
insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for
them what he usually did.
you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing
it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to
him. 11 But the chief priests
stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked
them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked
Pilate. But they shouted all the louder,
“Crucify him!” 15 Wanting to
satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and
handed him over to be crucified.
Pilot was governor over Judea and
Samaria for 10
years. His job was to collect taxes for the emperor Tiberius, keep peace and
oversee building projects. Keeping peace between the Jews and Rome required calm leadership. But Pilot was
a prideful man. He had done several things that really riled the Jews in the
past. For instance; the Jews never used images. Normally Roman soldiers had a
picture of the emperor on their shield, but past governors of this area, out of
respect, would have the soldiers use plain shields in Jerusalem.
At the time he was living quite
aways away in Caesarea and a huge number of
Jews came to him to complain. He ignored them for about 5 days and when they
didn’t go away he sent in his soldiers to surround them and threaten them with
death. They presented their necks to him willing to be killed. Jews are very
stubborn and very principled! Of course he couldn’t be the cause of such a
large massacre so he backed down. But it really hurt his pride.
Another time he did something
similar and this time the Jews wrote to Tiberius who rebuked Pilot. Pilot was
totally shamed. So at this time he was caught between a hard place and a rock!
He didn’t want to rile the Jews again – especially during Passover when there
were so many of them in Jerusalem,
but then again he knew Jesus was an innocent man.
At first he tried to just get
them to deal with it themselves. But they weren’t allowed to crucify anyone in
a public way and that’s what they were after for Jesus. He also tried sending
the problem to Herod since Jesus was from his district, but Herod sent Him
back. Then he offered up the chance to release a prisoner as was his custom
during Passover, hoping they’d let Jesus go. He even gave them a choice of just
Jesus or Barabbas who was a notorious murderer. Surely they wouldn’t let him go!
But they did! And when he asked
what he should do with Jesus the frenzied crowd shouted “Crucify him.” Over and
Jesus never defended Himself so
He could go to the cross. For us.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Labels: Gospel of Mark, Jesus, Pilot