November 05, 2020 3 min read

Pontius Pilate

The Roman governor who condemned Jesus to death.
Pontius Pilate was governor of the Roman province Judea during the
years 26-36 C.E.

Pontius Pilate

Pilate was appointed by the Roman Emperor. He normally resided in
Caesarea along the Mediterranean coast but came to Jerusalem on
important occasions, such as when the Jewish people observed
Passover. The brutality of his administration, well-known among
his contemporaries, is reflected in the reference to Pilate
slaughtering some Galileans who were going to offer sacrifices in
Jerusalem (Luke 13:1).

That Jesus of Nazareth was crucified under Pontius Pilate, the
fifth.Prefect of the Imperial Roman Province of Judea, is one of the
most certain facts of Christianity; it is attested not only by the first Christian
traditions but also by the Roman historian Tacitus (Annales 15.44). As judge of Jesus, Pilate has gained an important place not only in the New Testament and in the beliefs but also in the popular imagination. The image of an
official washing his hands in an attempt to avoid responsibility, or eternally
unanswered question What is the truth? (Jn 18:38) are inextricably linked to
Pilate.

Jesus Made No Defense Before Pilate:

Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are
bringing against you?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a
single charge - to the great amazement of the governor (Matthew
27:13,14).

Pilate Admitted Jesus Was Innocent:

You are a king, then! said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right
in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and
for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone
on the side of truth listens to me." "What is truth?" Pilate
asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find
no basis for a charge against him" (John 18:37-39).

Pilate Tried To Release Jesus:

From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept
shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.
Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar" (John 19:12).

Pilate Denied Responsibility In Jesus' Death:

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an
uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front
of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is
your responsibility!" (Matthew 27:19).

He believed this would absolve him of any role in the matter.
Pilate Handed Him Over For Death:

Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them,
and after having Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be
crucified (Mark 15:15).

Pilate Could Not Deny His Responsibility:

In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ
Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good
confession (1 Timothy 6:13).

Figuratively each of us hammered a nail at Christ’s crucifixion because it was our sins that contributed to his death on our behalf. It is not only the Pharisees, or Pilate, or Judas at blame.  Christ died for the sins of the world, but each of us have sinned and we each bear a bit of the blame.  However He offers us complete forgiveness for the asking.

Jesus is condemned to death by Pontius Pilate, it is the first station of the cross.


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