Pontius Pilate

In the practicing of their religion the Jewish people even under the Roman rule were at first quite unrestricted. The consideration for their religious sensibilities even went so far as for the Roman troops to refrain from marching into Jerusalem displaying pictures of the emperor, which were particularly offensive to the Jews. Individual procurators like Pontius Pilate took pleasure in reversing this practice to provoke the Jews. Ever since the Zealots had sprung up a couple years after Herod the king had died, a rising fever of rebellion had swept through both Judea and Galilee. Several Roman procurators had come and gone in Judea but none had stopped the stirring sense of patriotism which permeated the land. The administration of Pontius Pilate from 26-36 was marked by acts of ruthlessness and utter disregard of Jewish susceptibilities. Thus the people offered even more resistance and were roughly handled by the soldiery and Galilean patriots were executed without trial.

Not even Pilate had been able to stop the Jew's stubborn but quiet resistance to the Roman occupation forces. It wasn't that Pilate hadn't tried. Scarcely had he been installed as Procurator, he allowed his soldiers to bring with them by night the Roman standards, silver eagles and other insignia of the legions from Caesarea to the Holy City. When the Jews saw the standards, they raise a great outcry over the idolatrous symbols to which legionnaires bowed in worship. In this, he offended the Jews and excited a furious outburst of Jewish feeling against an act which they regarded as idolatrous profanation. For 5 days and nights - often lying prostrate on the bare ground - they surrounded and almost stormed his residence at Caesarea with tumultuous and threatening entreaties, and could not be made to desist on the 6th, even by the peril of immediate and indiscriminate massacre at the hands of the soldiers whom he sent to surround them. Even the threat of glistening, naked Roman swords had not caused the Jews to back down from their demands that the hated symbols of idolatry be removed. Thousands of Jews had offered their naked throats to the swords. He had then sullenly given way and backed down. The standards had been removed and this foretaste of the undaunted and fanatical resolution of the people with whom he had to deal, went far to embitter his whole administration with a sense of overpowering disgust of Jewry.

Jesus came into prominence about the same time a popular uprising opposed Pilate's attempt to use temple revenues to improve Jerusalem's water supply. Jerusalem seems to have always suffered from a bad and deficient supply of water. To remedy this inconvenience, Pilate undertook to build an aqueduct, by which water could be brought from the Bethlehem's "Pools of Solomon" to his fortress when the pools outside the city ran dry. Regarding this matter of public benefit, he applied some of the money from the "Corban", or sacred treasury, and the people rose in furious myriads to resent this secular appropriation of their sacred fund.

Caesarea was Pilate's official residence, but at the time of Jesus' trial he had traveled to Jerusalem to help in maintaining order during Passover. Jewish resentment, always a problem for the Romans, ran especially high during national or religious holidays. The chief priests and elders counseled together against Jesus to put Him to death and delivered Him bound to Pntius Pilate, the governor. Pilate declares that Jesus' claim to be the Messiah is not a political crime. Pilate knew very well that the Jewish authorities had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous. If Jesus were really the Jewish Messiah, he deserved to be arrested as a safeguard to the Roman authority which Pilate represented. But the governor hadn't seen anything seditious against the power he represented. It was to please the Jews that Jesus Barabbas was freed in His place. His wife had a dream that Pilate should have nothing to do with Jesus, legend calls the wife of Pilate, the Lady Claudia Procula. Then Pilate thought of a well-known Jewish expedient for getting rid of the guilt. The thing he did was a Jewish thing, not Roman. He called for a basin, a napkin, and water, and, rising from his place, he dipped his hands into the water, and said ceremonially, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person; see you to it." Then answered all the people and said, "His blood be on us and on our children."

Everything that was best in Pilate chose Jesus. To preach that men in general are not responsible for what they do is to banish morality and to get rid of the conception of duty. Pontius Pilate was a weak self-serving man. While declaring his conviction of the innocence of Jesus, Pilate saw that his acquittal might be used to arouse the suspicion of the emperor and he delivered the innocent Savior into the hands of the Jews to be crucified.

In 36 Pilate went to Rome to defend himself against accusations brought by the governor of Syria to answer charges (about the time of Saul's persecution) of tyranny and misgovernment before the emperor, but was unsuccessful. His defense was so unsatisfactory that Pilate was stripped of his government. There are several traditions as to his death, one that he was he was banished and died in Vienne, Gaul, where unable to endure the stings of a guilty conscience, he killed himself with his own sword. Another version is that he sought refuge in the recesses of the mountain near Lucerne, which bears his name; and in remorse and despair committed suicide by drowning in the dismal lake upon the summit of the mountain.
[309, 315, 319, 322, 340, 345, 08, 373, 376, 377, 383, 392, Matthew 27]

The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

As One Body

  • We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
  • Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory

Help To Prepare A Holy Bride!

Issue Oriented Discussion Newsletter

Index | Search This Site | Aristide.Org | The Latter Rain | Babylon the Great | The Kingdom | The Nicolaitans | Jezebel
The Baptism With the Holy Ghost | The Grand Delusion | World Trade Org | Liberation Theology | Jay Atkinson | Alphabetical Index