The Trial of Jesus
Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor in Jerusalem. The Jewish authorities were not allowed to execute prisoners so had to get Pilate to execute Jesus for them. Pilate didn’t understand Jewish law or culture, he thought it was backward and stupid. Pilate was in charge of keeping law and order in the city. If there was a riot he would be blamed and get into trouble. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent and his wife Claudia told him ‘don’t have anything to do with this man’. But, the crowd shouted for Jesus to be crucified, the more Pilate tried to free Jesus the more they shouted. So in the end Pilate ordered Jesus to be whipped and crucified.
To read or hear Claudia’s story who witnessed Jesus’ trial see below
I’m Claudia the wife of Pontius Pilate. We used to live in Rome but Pontius got a job in Jerusalem and we had to move here for a few years, just until Pontius gets a better job. I hated Jerusalem and I hated those stupid Jewish festivals. Every time there was a festival there was a riot and we crucified the leaders. This didn’t seem to bother the Jews they just had another riot every time. They were always falling out over something to do with their laws or traditions. All I wanted was to go back home to Rome, away from this hot dusty land, filled with angry backward people.
At last year’s festival we arrived in Jerusalem and the people were falling out as usual. But the night before I had a really scary dream. A dream about a man who was the latest trouble maker called Jesus. I can’t remember much about the dream just that this man was powerful and that we should have nothing to do with him. All I knew was if we got involved with him disaster will come to me and my husband.
I saw Jesus with my husband, he was beaten really badly. His face covered with blood and his eyes all puffed up. I grabbed Pontius and told him, have nothing to do with this man. I could see that Pontius didn’t want to execute him, but outside the wall we could hear the shouting, ‘Crucify him’.
Pontius tried to reason with the crowd, he said he would whip Jesus and the let him go. But the Priests were walking through the crowd telling them to shout. The priests said, ‘He says he is a king and anyone who says they are a king must die’. Pontius shouted, ‘Do you want me to crucify your king?’ The priests shouted ‘We have no king but the Emperor’.
Pontius had Jesus whipped thinking that would sort out the trouble, but they still shouted, ‘Crucify him’. Pontius knew that Jesus was innocent, but there would be a riot if he let him go so he ordered Jesus to be crucified.
These people are just ridiculous. Just a few days ago they almost started a riot saying that Jesus was their hero. Now they want him killed. The sooner we get back to Rome and civilization the better.
How would you have felt if you were in the crowd and everyone was shouting, would you join in?
Have you ever known something was wrong but you just got so fed up you did it anyway?