The tension in the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. Even though there was a chill in the air, Pilate was sweating. He would be very glad when he could get this over with and wash his hands of this accursed mess.
The young man who stood near Pilate, with his flesh in ribbons and a crown of thorns pressing into his head, had been brought by the Chief Priests of the Jewish people. They wanted Pilate to crucify him. To that end they had laid out charges that Pilate was fairly certain were not true. In fact, Pilate couldn’t find any real reason to put this young man to death. Although he found this Jesus from Nazareth a bit odd, he certainly didn’t find him to be any sort of threat to Rome or the Jewish people either one. He was also fairly certain the the religious leaders were jealous of him. Because Judea was subservient to Rome, the Jews couldn’t simply put jesus to death themselves, so they wanted Pilate to do their dirty work for them.
There were also things about this case that Pilate found troubling, even frightening. His own wife had sent him a message saying he should not have anything to do with this man. She had apparently had troubling dreams about him. Then there was something the Jews had said that sent a cold chill down Pilate’s spine,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this statement it caused him to quake to the very core of his being. He quickly rushed Jesus back into his headquarters to try and find out more information from him. Who was he really? Where was he from? The answer Jesus gave only caused Pilate to be more confused and frustrated.
He then brought Jesus back out to where the Jews were waiting. He took a moment to look over the crowd and then said to them, “Behold your king!” This brought a violent reaction from the crowd as they began to shout, “Crucify! Crucify him!” Pilate then asked, “Shall I crucify your king?” The response of the chief priests caused Pilate to capitulate to their demands. The religious leaders looked steadily at Pilate and said,
“We have no king but Caesar.”