Are you the King of the Jews?

Pilate washes his hands

Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?'

Jesus said, 'You say so.'

And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.

Then Pilate said to him, 'Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?' But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished.

And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, 'Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?'

For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over. While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, 'Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.'

The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. The governor said to them in reply, 'Which of the two do you want me to release to you?'

They answered, 'Barabbas!' Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?'

They all said, 'Let him be crucified!'

But he said, 'Why? What evil has he done?' 

They only shouted the louder, 'Let him be crucified!'

When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, 'I am innocent of this man's blood. Look to it yourselves.'

And the whole people said in reply, 'His blood be upon us and upon our children.'

Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

For complete text and commentary: This week's Bulletin Notes

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