The Trial of Jesus

Then Herod grew flippant, and hearing from Pilate's clerk that Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews, he sent for a gorgeous old robe and dressed Jesus in it, mocking him, and amid much laughter ordered the King to be sent back to Pilate. The voices that cried "crucify him" in Pilate's court were most probably the organized hirelings of the high priests, the hangers-on of Judea's collaborationist government. Still the multitude stood by Jesus. Torchlight procession. We want to see a king. We want to see a king with armor. We want to see a king who rides forth in great pomp in front of us - And yea, did I not give them a king? Was there not a temptation to be as the other nations? Was it not Israel who cried out, 'We will have no king but Caesar.' The stone column, half concealed by iron work, might have been that to which our Lord was bound when scourged; might have been the stone on which he sat to be crowned with thorns.

To claim to be the Messiah was not blasphemy, though the High Priest said that it was. Pilate was surprised that Christ did not bother to answer the accusations of the priest and that, furthermore, He did not answer the Procurator when he mentioned it. But Pilate did not press the matter and soon turned to the practical question of deciding which malefactor to set free. He teased the religious authorities a little about releasing Jesus, but then, when the pressure was great, gave in to the mob and released Barabbas instead. He then had Jesus scourged and sent Him to be crucified. He could see the scheming of the religious leaders, but this was not a matter of sufficient importance to require of him a courageous stand. Even the accusation against Jesus, that He claimed to be King of the Jews, was to Pilate, something slightly amusing.
[347, 315, 322, 378, 380, 400]

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