The Story of Jesus

Sentence Of Death

Soldiers led Jesus before the Roman governor, Pilate, who knew nothing about Jesus. Pilate took him into the judgment hall and talked with him. Afterwards he said, "I find no fault in this man." But the leaders stirred up the mob to shout, "Crucify him! crucify him! He stirs up the people throughout the country, even from Galilee."

When Pilate heard this, he said, "This man belongs to the country that Herod rules." Herod was a son of the king who had tried to kill Jesus when he was a baby. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod at once.

When the soldiers brought Jesus bound with chains, Herod was glad. He hoped that Jesus would do a miracle before him, but Jesus would not answer even one of Herod's questions. With his soldiers Herod mocked Jesus, dressing him in rich robes, and pretending to honor him as a king. Then he sent Jesus back to Pilate.

Now Pilate's wife was greatly troubled about Jesus, for that night she had dreamed about him. She pleaded with her husband to set Jesus free, saying, "He is a just man, not worthy of death."

Pilate, too, wanted to free Jesus. He told the mob, "Both Herod and I have examined this man and find no fault in him."

Pilate then called together the high priests and other officials and the people, and said, "You brought me this man on the charge that he stirred up the people to rebel. Now I have examined him before you and found no guilt in him of those things of which you accuse him; no, nor has Herod, for he has sent him back to us. You
see that he has done nothing that calls for death. I will therefore have him flogged and then release him" (for it was the custom at this feast to release for them one man). But they all cried out, "Away with him and release for us Barabbas" (a man who had been put into prison because of a riot which had occurred in the city, and on the charge of murder). 

But the mob cried, "If you set this man free you are no friend of Caesar, and Caesar will not want you for our governor."

Pilate was afraid. Pilate asked, "Shall I release to you Barabbas, the wicked robber, or Jesus?"

With loud cries the mob answered, "Set Barabbas free!"

Pilate asked, "What shall I do with Jesus?" and they answered, "Crucify him! crucify him!"

Taking a basin of water, Pilate washed his hands before the Jews, saying, "I am not guilty of the death of this innocent man."

The Jews cried out, "We ourselves will bear the blame. Let his blood be on our heads!"

Because Pilate wanted to please the people, he called Roman soldiers and told them to lead Jesus away to be crucified. So the trial came to an end.


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