Too often, government protects the already-powerful, rather than the vulnerable who need protection. This week, we take a look at the trial of Jesus and uncover the religious and the political meanings inherent in this story.
- If you’re interested in learning more about “why Jesus died,” we’re doing a webinar on atonement on Tuesday April 10 at 9pm eastern (1am GMT) , register here
- Other episodes on Palm Sunday here and here
At daybreak, the chief priests—with the elders, legal experts, and the whole Sanhedrin—formed a plan. They bound Jesus, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” The chief priests were accusing him of many things.
Pilate asked him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? What about all these accusations?” 5 But Jesus gave no more answers, so that Pilate marveled.
During the festival, Pilate released one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. A man named Barabbas was locked up with the rebels who had committed murder during an uprising. The crowd pushed forward and asked Pilate to release someone, as he regularly did. Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” He knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of jealousy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas to them instead. Pilate replied, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?”
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done?”
They shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”
Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd, so he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified.
This article was published by Brian G. Murphy
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